We are a long way from what our social commentary gurus would describe as ‘closure’. Yet again the Catholic Church stands exposed as the bastion for abusers and the deniers of the abused. A shockingly powerful documentary on BBC 2 tonight was another small step in dragging the church hierarchy kicking and screaming into the light. It is not a place they relish if Cardinal Brady is an example. He is the top Catholic cheese in Ireland and someone who is expected to be a public figure. Confronted by evidence of his part in a cover up, which led to a paedophile priest continuing to abuse children for another 13 years, he simply fled, protected by minders. How ironic. The abuse collaborator is protected while the victims are ignored and denied.
A Catholic Church investigation into child abuse in another diocese in Ireland was quite rightly described as a ‘whitewash’ by the local press. The ‘Inquiry’ had searched church records to find what had been written about the abuse of children in the area. Surprise surprise - they did not find anything - so that’s alright then. They did not contact any of the hundreds and hundreds of victims. A bit of an omission that.
“New revelations about the failure of the Catholic primate of all-Ireland to protect children from abuse have been uncovered by the BBC's This World show.
It found Cardinal Sean Brady had the names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, but did not ensure their safety. Sean Brady's role in the affair became clear in 2010, when it became known that he had been present when the abused boy was questioned.
The Catholic Church has been knocked off its pedestal in Ireland, and its leader is battling to hold onto his own position. Cardinal Sean Brady has been under pressure for some time. But he has always made it clear he will not resign, unless there is specific proof that his failure to act allowed clerical child abuse to take place. Clearly, he does not believe the evidence in the BBC documentary meets that criteria. However, with the media spotlight on his past, the Catholic primate is struggling to shift the focus to the present and the future. That is a very uncomfortable position, for any church leader.
He claimed, however, that the boy's father had accompanied him, and described his own role as that of a note-taker. However, the BBC This World investigation has uncovered the notes Cardinal Brady took while the boy was questioned.
The child's father was not allowed in the room, and the child was immediately sworn to secrecy by swearing on the Bible. Many, many other children were then abused by Brendan Smyth.” BBC Online 2/5/12
So Cardinal Brady lied. He should not merely resign. He should be having a chat with the local plod. A retired detective who investigated some of the abuse cases believes that many of these Bishops should be in jail for covering up crimes, and even worse providing the opportunities for serial abusers to thrive and abuse many more children. They have left a malign legacy around the world.
A chunky little chap resembling Danny De Vito’s brother posing as a Papal prosecutor spoke about how the Catholic Church has learnt serious lessons and is tackling abuse with urgency and speed. Oh yeah. Once confronted with the actualite his words turned to dust and insulting guff about ‘charity’.
This complicity goes right to the top of the Catholic Church and should be borne in mind whenever ‘Cardinal This’ or ‘Nuncio That’ dare to lecture us about behaviour.