Alleged victim criticises cardinal


A WOMAN who alleges that she was sexually abused for several years by a priest in Co Cork has strongly criticised Cardinal Seán Brady for his comments supporting Bishop of Cloyne John Magee in the controversy over his handling of complaints of clerical sexual abuse.

The woman, who doesn’t wish to be named, spoke of her frustration and anger over the Catholic Church’s handling of her case and those of other complaints about the priest who ministered in the Diocese of Cloyne.

“I’m angry but I’m not shocked or surprised – it’s almost predictable,” said the woman who alleges she was abused from the age of 13 for several years by the priest.

“I’m not shocked by their reaction because I don’t expect them to do the right thing – they never did the right thing before so why would they do it now? I’m sickened to the core by the standard of the church,” she said.

Cardinal Brady spoke out in support of Bishop Magee on Tuesday and said he didn’t believe Bishop Magee should resign when he was questioned about the controversy while addressing clergy at a special Mass in Killarney.

“I have known John Magee for almost 50 years and I have always found him a reliable and dependable person.

“I know trust has been damaged but trust can be built up and even earned by genuine steps being taken to address the issues and concerns of the victims.

“The whole issue has raised important considerations which must be addressed and I think they are being addressed,” said Cardinal Brady, adding later “on reflection, I think he should not resign”.

However, the woman told The Irish Times she believed Cardinal Brady’s comments reflected the same thinking as Bishop Magee and it failed to fully appreciate the great hurt and pain suffered by the victims of clerical child sexual abuse. “A great wrong has been done, a massive injustice, far greater than I, or I’m sure all of the others, ever anticipated and if it’s not put right this time, if nothing comes out of this, I will actually leave this country.”