Irish cardinal to stay on despite sex abuse reports

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has insisted, he will stay on in his role despite calls for him to resign because of a cover-up of a sexual abuse case decades ago.

Irish cardinal to stay on despite sex abuse reports

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has insisted, he will stay on in his role despite calls for him to resign because of a cover-up of a sexual abuse case decades ago.

The church in Ireland, a predominantly Catholic country, has been rocked by two reports in the last year on child sex abuse stretching back decades and church leaders' complicity in covering it up.

Cardinal Sean Brady has previously said he was "ashamed" by events in the 1970s when he was at meetings where children had to sign oaths of silence about allegations of abuse against a Nobertine priest, Brendan Smyth, who was later convicted and died in prison.

But in a statement, the 70-year-old cardinal gave a clear signal he would stay on in his post.


"In the years that remain to me as Archbishop of Armagh, I am fully committed to building on the substantial progress made in child safeguarding in recent years," he said.

"I am fully committed to the path that as a Church we must take to the truth that will set us free."

The Pope issued a letter of "apology" in March to Ireland's Catholics, expressing remorse and sorrow for abuse inflicted on children by Irish priests and religious brothers.

But victims of abuse said they were deeply disappointed by the letter as it failed to address the role of senior church leaders in the scandal.

Hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse of youths in recent decades by priests have come to light in Europe and the United States as disclosures encourage long-silent victims to go public with their complaints.

On Monday, Ireland's National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church said nearly 200 new allegations of past abuse had been reported between April 2009 and March.

Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2010, 16:54
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