Holy See rejects demands for Brady to resign

Thu, May 3, 2012, 01:00

VATICAN RESPONSE:SENIOR FIGURES in the Holy See yesterday were forthright in their defence of Cardinal Brady, rejecting calls for his resignation and arguing that he had acted correctly in 1975 when he took information from clerical sex abuse victim Brendan Boland.

Senior Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, referred The Irish Times to the statement issued yesterday by Cardinal Brady. In particular, he highlighted a statement made by the Vatican’s chief prosecutor, Msgr Charles Scicluna, to the makers of the BBC documentary, which was itself contained in Cardinal Brady’s statement.

In his statement Msgr Scicluna said that Fr Brady, now Cardinal Brady, “acted promptly and with determination to ensure the allegations being made by the children were believed and acted upon by his superiors”.

In his statement yesterday, Cardinal Brady said the above statement by Msgr Scicluna was made to the BBC Northern Ireland team six weeks before the broadcast of the programme but was “not acknowledged by them in any way”.

Asked during the documentary if Cardinal Brady should resign, given his involvement in the Brendan Boland case, Msgr Scicluna was very guarded, saying only that “that is a question that should be put to Cardinal Brady”. Msgr Scicluna also assured BBC reporter Darragh MacIntyre that he would “put your concerns to Cardinal Brady myself because I know he is in town (Rome) this week” (February 2012).

Vatican sources say the Holy See does not want to entertain the possibility that Cardinal Brady might either consider resignation or be forced to resign. Firstly, Vatican figures familiar with the vexed question of clerical sex abuse are convinced that Cardinal Brady has no case to answer in relation to the “evidence” he took from Brendan Boland back in 1975. Rather, they point out that the then Fr Brady was far down the Holy See pecking order at that time and that responsibility for Brendan Smyth lay with Smyth’s superiors in the Norbertine order.

Vatican insiders also point out that, after years of being attacked by international public opinion for its failure to adequately handle the clerical sex abuse crisis of the last decade and more, the last thing the Holy See now wants is for a senior church figure, the Primate of All Ireland, to be forced into a resignation because of his involvement in a sex abuse “incident” of 37 years ago.

Such a resignation, too, would come right on the eve of the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next month.