Warm support for cardinal in Armagh


CONGREGATION:THERE WAS warm personal support for Cardinal Brady among Mass-goers at St Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday, but only a few were prepared to state decisively whether he should remain as primate or resign.

“It wouldn’t be for me to judge what he should do or not do,” said one man. “We know Cardinal Brady is a lovely man. It’s a sad situation for the Catholic Church. We just hope it will right itself, but it’s going to be a very painful business.”

There was general praise for the cardinal’s sermon in which he apologised for his past failures and committed himself to prayer and reflection on the future during the remainder of Lent. His comments had many in the congregation in tears.

One woman was convinced Dr Brady had said the right things.

“He was really terrific today. He’s really a good man,” she said, adding that the congregation had broken into applause following Dr Brady’s sermon.

However, others, while praising his comments, were unsure what the future held for the church or for the cardinal.

“It’s very difficult to comment on the whole thing,” said one woman. “The sermon was lovely, I expected him to say the things he said.”

Her friend added: “I’m glad that he apologised and admitted that he did wrong. The Catholic Church needs to reflect.”

She said she had an open mind about what the church should do next, and who should lead it. Dr Brady could be that leader if he learns from past mistakes.

“If he has something in his own background then maybe he is the man to lead on. He’s been through this. He’s been an advocate saying this needs to happen, so maybe he is the right person.”

“We didn’t need to clap him,” one parishioner said, “because I think God will applaud him. But that was the reaction of the decent people of Armagh. I think he’s a true and genuine person who’s done no wrong. He definitely has to stay; he has done no wrong.”

Another man referred to the warm display of support as the cardinal emerged to celebrate Mass. “I thought it was wonderful and very emotional too – you could see it in people’s faces.”

Referring to the applause, he said: “That was just to let him know we are behind him, that’s what I thought. I would feel the vast majority of people in Armagh are behind him.”