Low Number of Priests Turnout to Support Cardinal Sean Brady

BBC News
May 18, 2012

Cardinal Brady was a priest in County Cavan at the time of the investigation

Just 20 out of a total of 150 priests in the Armagh archdiocese turned up to a recent gathering organised in support of Cardinal Sean Brady.

The figure was revealed by The Irish Catholic newspaper.

Several priests in the diocese told the paper the lack of support was indicative of low morale among the clergy there.

A spokesman for Dr Brady told The Irish Catholic the poor turnout may have been because of short notice.

About 13% of the priests who were invited attended the gathering which was described as a "prayer gathering of support for Cardinal Brady" in the Synod Hall in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, last Friday.

One priest told the paper he felt the poor turnout "was a sign that priests of the diocese are very fed up. Many are just doing their own thing because they think it is rudderless at the top".

Another attributed the small uptake for the event to "a great deal of apathy among priests of the diocese. It certainly isn't helped by everything that's going on at the moment," he said, referring to the controversy around Cardinal Brady's handling of allegations against Fr Brendan Smyth.

However, another priest said he felt the low morale was as a result of other issues.

'Small gathering'

He felt that "many priests" were "very unhappy that there are priests in this diocese, against whom allegations [of abuse] have been made, who have been cleared by the civil authorities, but not returned to ministry".

"A lot of priests feel sore about that," he said.

Cardinal Brady's spokesman pointed out that the event was not the annual gathering for clergy and "because of the short notice it was expected to be a small gathering".

He said it had been organised "a few days before".

Cardinal Brady told The Irish Catholic, the event was "a most beautiful and moving experience".

"I am very grateful for all the prayerful support that I have received."

Earlier this month, a BBC documentary revealed that in 1975, a 14-year-old boy who had been sexually abused by a paedophile priest, Fr Brendan Smyth, gave the then Fr Brady the names and addresses of other children who had been abused.

It said Fr Brady did not pass on the details to the police or parents.

In response, the Catholic primate of all Ireland said he would not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC's This World show.








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