Visitation genuine attempt to renew trust, says Brady

Fri, Oct 8, 2010, 01:00

CARDINAL SEÁN Brady said yesterday he hoped that people would see in time that the forthcoming apostolic visitation was a genuine attempt to renew the trust of people who had been abused.

He was speaking at Dublin airport as he arrived home from Rome after meeting the four senior churchmen who will take part in the apostolic visitation. He said it had not yet been decided whether the visitation report would be published.

Survivors have given a mixed reaction to the details of the visitation announced earlier this week. The Holy See said the visitators would “give particular attention to victims of abuse and their families, but will also meet with and listen to a variety of people . . .”

A spokesman for the Catholic Communications Office said there was no further information on the identity of the people or groups who would meet the visitators. This would be decided by the apostolic visitators, he said.

Campaigner for victims of clerical abuse Andrew Madden was scathing about the visit and said he had no intention of meeting any bishops any time soon.

“I think this apostolic visitation is just self-serving, window dressing nonsense. I have no intention of helping bishops to give the impression that they are doing anything worthwhile or serious by participating in it,” he said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday.

However, fellow campaigner Marie Collins said she would meet one of the apostolic visitators, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, if she was asked but she had not been approached yet.

Dr Brady welcomed the news that Ms Collins was willing to engage with the visitation.

“This is good news and I hope that many others will do so too,” he said.

Another victim of abuse, Amnesty International’s Colm O’Gorman, said there was no need to investigate what happened in the past because those facts were well established by investigations such as the Murphy report.

“I do think there’s a value in engaging with the visitation,” he said. “This investigation should be asked to account for Rome’s dishonesty and deceit on foot of these investigations and the responses to the publications of these reports.”

Separately, Labour TD Kathleen Lynch has called on Minister for Education Mary Coughlan to meet the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and the Bethany Home as soon as possible. The survivors have criticised the Government’s refusal to include the homes in the list of qualifying institutions for the Residential Institutions’ Redress Scheme.

Bethany Home survivors’ group chairman Derek Leinster said the the State had tolerated deplorable conditions in these institutions and was now trying to wash its hands of it.

Yesterday, the Justice for Magdalenes group said it was “disappointed and greatly concerned” that the Conference of Religious of Ireland had declined to meet the group.