Cardinal Sean Brady (Niall Carson, PA Wire)At long last, a high-ranking Roman Catholic figure admits having done the wrong thing, in at least one case of child abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest. The (UK) Daily Mail reports that Sean Brady, the R.C. Church’s Primate in Ireland, was present for, and complicit in, at least one cover-up during the 1970s (WebCite cached article):

Under-fire Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, has apologised for not reporting a notorious paedophile priest to the police. …

Cardinal Brady, who as Archbishop of Armagh is Primate of All Ireland, was a priest in 1975 and attended meetings where children signed vows of silence over complaints of sexual abuse against Father Brendan Smyth.

Earlier this week it emerged that the children, aged 10 and 14, had been asked to sign a pact of silence so that the ‘Church could carry out its own investigation’.

Irish Catholic officials did not explain why neither Cardinal Brady nor his superiors at the time shared their information with the police. Fr Smyth went on to abuse more children in the following years.

This admission may be the end of Brady’s tenure. One may assume he will — like Cardinal Bernard Law, who as Archbishop of Boston shuffled pedophile priests around in order to protect them — be “kicked upstairs” and retire to a cushy post somewhere in the bowels of the Vatican.

Note here what the R.C. Church did, to these two children back in 1975: Not only did they allow them to be victimized by a priest, they had the temerity to forcibly place on them — by making them take a vow of silence — the burden of remaining forever silent on the matter. They compounded this immorality by then allowing Fr Smyth to continue abusing other children. This is unconscionable behavior … yet it seems to have been routine, and may have been done to any number of other child-victims.

One can only wonder why it took so long for the Archbishop to confess his complicity in this case. The Ryan Report was released back in May 2009, so it’s not exactly “breaking news.” Until this revelation, Brady had insisted he would not resign unless the Pope asked him to, however, this admission is likely to trigger such a request, and one can safely assume he knew that, at the time he made it.

Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire, via the (UK) Daily Mail.

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