Former Abbot Apologies to Smyth's Victims

By Paul Neilan
May 29, 2012

The former abbot of paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth (pictured) has apologised to victims.

A former abbot at Kilnacrott has finally issued an apology to the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

In a statement issued yesterday, Fr Kevin Smith said: "Having had some time in prayer and reflection in Medugorje on the past when I was Abbot and Superior of Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, I wish to acknowledge and apologise to all those who were abused in any way, their family, friends and fellow priests for mistakes which happened within the Church and various Institutions from August 1969 - March 1995, when I retired.

"I thank the present Prior and Superior for the counselling help being made available through "Towards Healing" (freephone 1800 303 416).

"However, I believe that the real permanent healing comes from inviting Jesus Christ, The greatest Healer of all, into our lives and handing over to him all our hurts. There has been a call for a criminal investigation and or international enquiry - I promise that I would be open to and give all information to either or both of those bodies. The Truth will set us all free.

"I trust that each one of the abused and indeed the abusers will accept this apology with the goodwill and sincerity with which it is offered. I shall remember you all daily in my Holy Masses and prayers."

Earlier this month The Anglo-Celt was issued a statement by Bishop Leo O'Reilly, who said that the then abbot's inaction as Fr Brendan Smyth's superior was "inexcusable".

"I find it incomprehensible that Abbot Smith did not take effective action to stop Brendan Smyth committing further abuse against children," he said. "This failure to act was inexcusable," he said, adding that he was "profoundly saddened and angered" by the violation of children's innocence.

The Order of the Norbertine Committee said in a statement: "We do not wish to add to the many statements we have issued on this matter over the years. We again fully accept our failings in this matter and again sincerely apologise to those abused by Fr Brendan Smyth."

As Smyth's superior since 1969, Fr Smith had known for some time about the paedophile priest's "propensity to molest children". He has previously said Smyth was reassigned every two or three years to prevent him "forming attachments" to families.

He has also admitted that he did not warn two parishes in the US of the priest's history when Smyth was sent there. Smyth went on to abuse children in that country too.








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