Brady departure in sight

So this is how they’ll ease him out. According to the Irish Times, a coadjutor bishop may be appointed to administer the archdiocese of Armagh with the expectation of succession. Fr Brady himself was similarly appointed coadjutor to Cahal Daly in 1995 and succeeded him automatically the following year.

The questions crowd in. Can they wait that long this time? And in the meantime, will he continue to function as president of the Irish bishop’s conference? This is the more significant role to the wider public. Will he will remain to officiate at the Eucharistic Congress?  The Church faces a pretty agonising dilemma of its own making. Either way publicity and hence the pressure on Cardinal Brady, his fellow bishops who have been  deafeningly silent this week and the Vatican itself  is bound to increase.

As the Vatican moves exceeding slow, the odds are bound to be on his remaining for the time being and allowing the many who still respect him to orchestrate a departure with dignity, rather than allowing him to be hounded from office by media and political clamour (as they’d see it). Incidentally the Irish Times also carries an interesting comparison with the case of the Bostonian Cardinal Laws.

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  • Mick Fealty

    Can they wait this long? I suppose it depends on whether more victims emerge in the meantime. I detect the firm hand of Benedict will do all it can to keep Cardinal Brady’s hand to the wheel.

  • “hence the pressure on Cardinal Brady”

    The pressure shows little sign of easing:

    At the request of The Irish Times, the current Bishop of Kilmore, Leo O’Reilly, is checking records to establish when his predecessor restored to Smyth faculties to say Mass publicly and hear Confessions. If it happened before 1980, when bishop McKiernan’s secretary, Fr Brady, became vice-rector of the Irish College in Rome, the primate’s troubles will intensify greatly.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I Presume Brady must offer his resignation in July 2014 on his 75th birthday. Would imagine in his case it would be accepted this time? Over two years is a long time for a coadjuctor to be in the job but not quite in it.

    The congress is more important in Vatican thinking, only 5 weeks away, its a big event in their world calendar, an atempt to reach back to the 1930s heydays, this episode will cast a shadow over it, bad enough have the Pope snubbing it. Will Croke Park be filled?

  • “The questions crowd in.”

    If it’s really a structural problem how does changing the personnel change things? Won’t the new man do the Vatican’s bidding too?

  • sdelaneys

    I was surprised to read in today’s Irish News that the man who was Abbot of Kilnacrott Abbey and in charge of the Brute priest Smyth is still alive and ‘priesting’ away. I had thought all senior figures in this terrible chain were dead apart from Brady but no, this man, also called Smyth is still above ground and surely charges can be levelled against him for, at the very least, gross neglect of vulnerable children.
    The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O Reilly, said that Fr Kevin Smytrh, the ex Abbot, in his current position “…has no such responsibility of oversight or management”, so that’s all right then, apparently.

  • iluvni

    Maybe he’ll be arrested before that…

  • carnmoney.guy

    Interesting how the news slipped out last week that Fr Brian Darcy had been repremanded by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, just before his part time employers broadcast the devastating This World program, now he might leave if Cardinal Brady stays…..best served cold i believe they say.

    The critical consideration is that Brady would have to stay in place, at least in the short term, since he is attracting and conducting all the vitriol, if he where to fall, there may be a blood bath, each and every accusation and its handling surrouinding the numerous rapists could be pored over. How many current priests / bishops had some dealings with accusations and would be found wanting ?
    He was able to ride out the storm in 2010, the plan is to try the same approach now,.

  • Granni Trixie

    As well as Abbot Smyth questions were asked in I Times concerning why exactly Abbot McTirrnan persisted in Allowing BS to resume priestly duties even after Rome took his “faculties” (confession etc) from him and even moving him to USA. Won’t say the speculation here but it is the only thing that makes sense, even in the 70s I can’t believe that it would be usual to let a man like BS roam the world unimpeded.

  • USA

    The police should start pressing charges. Victims should sue for millions.

  • claudius

    I don’t believe in a god of any kind although I respect the views of those who do so. I have friends who are catholics and who go to church regularly. Discussing this matter with them they are angry and most if not all agree that the church and state should be separated and above all that it should be accountable to the law. What I don’t sense is any Congregational militancy to make the church responsible to it’s members and to institute the changes they feel are necessary

  • aquifer

    Picking off one priest does not really cut it, but will the authorities charge the then hierarchy with concealing evidence or Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?

    I do not think so.

    But children were raped and nobody jailed for it, in flagrant disregard for the law. And how to signal the wrongness of it to avoid recurrences, except by using the testimony of people who are now adults, in open trial?

  • cynic2

    As an atheist I have to ask why do the plain people of Ireland put up with this?

    The boycott is a proven tool of civil disobedience. What about a national Mass boycott until the church listens?

    Surely anything less is almost complicit in letting them carry on in this way?

  • Newman

    Cynic2…with respect you fail to understand in any way the issue of a Mass boycott.There is no doubt that the Church must face up to the culture of deference and the sins of those who have sought to protect the institution at the expense of children who were abused. That may ultimately mean that many will have to resign. The structure of the Church, however, has been given to us by Christ..it is not something that is changed by majority vote. To refrain from the Mass would be to refrain from Christ himself. The eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith and it would be a great sacrilege to refuse to attend Mass in order to ‘punish’ members of the hierarchy. No one doubts what Jesus Christ thinks…”whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”…why then would one want to dishonour Christ by refusing to participate in the eucharist.It is also the case that things have changed and today there is no question that child protection in the Catholic church is paramount. What we are seeking to uncover are the failures of a different age which has bequeathed a legacy of such suffering to victims. There can be no hiding from this…..but still a minor plea to understand context for those who like Cardinal Brady sought to do what they thought right.Of course it was inadequate but I am always nervous when there is a rush to judgment and so many seems anxious to cast the first stone

  • cynic2

    What makes you think He would consider it a dishonour? Because the Church told you so? You can pray in private if that is your won’t. As for seeking relief for your sins is an organisation so committed to covering up its sins fit to mediate in that?

  • anne warren

    Newman
    There are so many points in your reply that I would like to discuss and so many questions I want to ask.

    In the first place you wrote “There is no doubt that the Church must face up to the culture of deference and the sins of those who have sought to protect the institution at the expense of children who were abused”
    Cynic2 proposed a Mass boycott which you refused to countenance. I believe it was attempted some time ago in the ROI with little success. So you may be right that the faithful do not want it.

    In that case, what other proposal can you make to express disapproval/non-condoning of what went on?
    What about refusing to donate any money ever again until certain conditions (to be established) are met?
    What about supporting only the Irish priests who have been censured by the Vatican?
    Have you any problems with these ideas?
    Would you care to make other proposals?

    You also said “That may ultimately mean that many will have to resign”.
    How is that going to come about if the faithful do not exert pressure in some way?
    There has been widespread media coverage, Enda Kenny made a well received speech saying the laws of the Irish Republic were pre-eminent.
    Yet we have seen few resignations and fewer prosecutions.

    “What we are seeking to uncover are the failures of a different age which has bequeathed a legacy of such suffering to victims”.
    It did not all happen a long time ago and the suffering of survivors will be life-long.
    I agree some of the victims may have exaggerated but there are too many similar stories from all over the island of Ireland, from the USA, Canada, Europe. And proof is available in too many instances.
    We can no longer deny the existence of crimes, a culture of silence and attempts to cover up crimes. We know what went on.
    We know the hierarchy apologises, says it wasn’t their fault, it was the fault of the times or the children, or lack of information, of believing Canon law superceded the law of whatever land they are living and operating in, promises they will do/ are doing better.
    Doesn’t it seem too little too late, particularly if the Statute of Limitations has run its course and they cannot be prosecuted?
    Don’t practising Catholics feel angry their faith has been betrayed?
    Don’t they want to salvage what they can and move on without this criminal mindset and its perpetrators?
    If so, how do they hope to do it?
    If not, what does that say about their Christian faith?
    What conclusions will non-Catholics, lapsed Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, non-believers, atheists and agnostics inevitably draw?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Brady is absolutely correct to withstand the mob. He did exactly what anyone in that particular situation would have done.

  • The end is indeed in sight.
    And interesting that Dennis Bradley and Archbishop Martin both made reference to Rome…the latter in connexion to the “gagging” of priests.
    The bigger story here is “Irish Church” versus “Rome” and nothing will mobilise the people in the pews or those who claim to be in the pews) more than an attack on
    “their church” by outsiders.
    The old joke where Paddy grabs his hurley stick to defend the chapel from attack before sheepishly asking “where exactly IS the chapel?” has never been more apt.
    Archbishop Martin, Fr D’arcy, Fr Flannery and others are maximising the defence……..uniting liberals and mainstream………against Rome and its apologists. Nothing happening here the broader story is in isolation.

    Certainly a boycott of Masses HAS been suggested….though Im not convinced that one suggested by athiests would be as effective as one organised by Catholics.
    A boycott of Collections might actually be a better idea.

  • Newman

    Some minor points in brief reply:

    There is no automatic linkage between the crimes of child abuse/subsequent cover up by the Church and the range of issues that seem to be trotted out as the panacea to the problems of the Church. Easier access to contraception/abortion, woman priests, married priests, gay marriage are all hot button issues in the secular world. Renewal in the church will not take place as soon as everyone gets with a secular programme on human sexuality.

    Facing up to what Benedict called “the filth” inside the church is a truly serious matter and calls for prophetic leadership which faces head on the sins of the institution and seeks to make reparation to the victims for the unspeakable crimes which were perpetrated by some priests.Thankfully the structures now in place and the imperative of reporting allegations to the civil authorities are major steps forward. A further step would be of many in leadership at the relevant time to step aside for the good of the whole church.

    In relation to the views of the ACP I fear they have become a distraction from the more difficult issues. No doubt they will get praised to the heavens by the media and all manner of malcontents for mirroring the concerns of the secular world. Their deliberations will get them plaudits from those who despise Catholicism but they contribute little to the internal conversation.

    The faithful exert pressure by calling their leaders to account and by insisting that renewed structures are in place which ensure that such a cover up cannot happen again. Many I fear will walk away disillusioned but our inspiration must remain fidelity to Jesus Christ. If we are rooted in Him then there is hope.

  • Newman

    Some minor points in brief reply:

    There is no automatic linkage between the crimes of child abuse/subsequent cover up by the Church and the range of issues that seem to be trotted out as the panacea to the problems of the Church. Easier access to contraception/abortion, woman priests, married priests, gay marriage are all hot button issues in the secular world. Renewal in the church will not take place as soon as everyone gets with a secular programme on human sexuality.

    Facing up to what Benedict called “the filth” inside the church is a truly serious matter and calls for prophetic leadership which faces head on the sins of the institution and seeks to make reparation to the victims for the unspeakable crimes which were perpetrated by some priests.Thankfully the structures now in place and the imperative of reporting allegations to the civil authorities are major steps forward. A further step would be of many in leadership at the relevant time to step aside for the good of the whole church.

    In relation to the views of the ACP I fear they have become a distraction from the more difficult issues. No doubt they will get praised to the heavens by the media and all manner of malcontents for mirroring the concerns of the secular world. Their deliberations will get them plaudits from those who despise Catholicism but they contribute little to the internal conversation.

    The faithful exert pressure by calling their leaders to account and by insisting that renewed structures are in place which ensure that such a cover up cannot happen again. Many I fear will walk away disillusioned but our inspiration must remain fidelity to Jesus Christ. If we are rooted in Him then there is hope.

  • Taoiseach

    The Eucharistic Congress gets mentioned as being of importance – it is, but it is a Dublin gig – the host is the Archbishop of Dublin, not Armagh. Brady’s role would be limited and could be reduced even further without much ado.