Cardinal Retiring "As If He Has Done Nothing Wrong" - Boland

By Anne Campbell
The Argus
August 23, 2014

THE DUNDALK man who exposed Cardinal Sean Brady's role in a church inquiry into sex abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth says the All-Ireland Primate is not resigning, but rather retiring 'as if he has done nothing wrong', while also revealing that five more of the dead cleric's victims have come forward since the publication of his book.

It was revealed last week that Cardinal Brady, the parish priest of Dundalk, had written to Pope Francis ahead of his 75th birthday at the weekend offering his resignation as cardinal, in accordance with the Church's own guidelines for clergy.

But Brendan Boland, whose book 'Sworn to Silence' was released last month, revealed how, as a 14-year-old boy in Dundalk in 1975, he was made sign an oath of secrecy after he told the then Fr Brady, and other priests, how he had been abused by Smyth and gave the names and addresses of others whom he believed had suffered the same fate.

Mr Boland's book says another boy in Cavan was also sworn to silence and Smyth went on to abuse children for a further 18 years.

Speaking to the Argus about the resignation, Mr Boland, who lives and works in London, said: 'This resignation is a long time coming. Cardinal Brady should have handed in his resignation back in 2010. Maybe he should have never taken the job in the first place.

'He had that information at the time of his appointment, names and addresses supplied by me of numerous children who were at risk of abuse by Brendan Smyth. I thought I had been able to save these children but they were abused anyway.

'I and other victims of clerical sexual abuse are extremely disappointed that, although Cardinal Brady is resigning, it appears to us that he is retiring naturally upon turning 75, as if he has done nothing wrong.

'I feel let down again by the Church. In its attempts to save face, it has failed yet again to acknowledge the mishandling of the information I gave them back in 1975.

'This is really just another slap in the face for victims - it is not really resignation, it's simply retirement'.

Separately, Mr Boland said: 'Since the publication of "Sworn to Silence" less than four weeks ago, 12 people have contacted me via various channels.

Of them, five are victims of Brendan Smyth, three of whom have never spoken about the abuse before now.

Four of the 12 are victims of other priests and three are victims of sexual abuse in the home. All have thanked me for writing the book as they feel it has in some way given them a voice, and the impetus to seek help'.

The cardinal faced widespread calls for his resignation nearly four years ago when Mr Boland revealed what happened.

After apologising and reflecting on his position for a number of weeks, Cardinal Brady decided to stay on.

Three years after asking the Vatican to appoint another bishop to help him in Armagh, Pope Benedict appointed Derry city Monsignor Eamon Martin as his successor-in-waiting.

In his statement last week, Cardinal Brady said he looked forward to the day when Pope Francis would accept his resignation and 'when Archbishop Eamon will take over as Archbishop'.

DkIT chaplain and former administrator at Holy Redeemer Fr Paddy Rushe said he had heard Mr Boland interviewed on radio last week and said he was struck by the Dundalk man's graciousness when he replied he would have no problem with Cardinal Brady working in a parish after his retirement.

Fr Rushe said that the outgoing cardinal was 'very pastoral' and 'Mr Boland's terrible tragedy and the legacy of child sex abuse is something that Cardinal Brady struggled with over the time (he has been All-Ireland Primate).'

But the Tyrone-born priest said he has had many dealings with Cardinal Brady over the years and has found him to be 'good and caring, compassionate, interested and helpful'.

Fr Rushe said: 'While I didn't always agree with decisions that Church leaders have taken, particularly on the abuse reality, I feel that Cardinal Brady has been a good bishop and priest' and added he didn't believe that Fr Brady had sought promotion and was 'not a careerist'.

The Dundalk priest said Cardinal Brady's successor Archbishop Eamon Martin presented an opportunity to 'look ahead without losing sight of the past and to realise that people are still hurting'.

Fr Rushe said: 'The Church needs to be there for people, to listen to people's experiences and to give hope and encouragement'.

Church experts say it may be some time before Pope Francis accepts the resignation.

The Argus








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