|Cardinal Seán Brady. Intimidated victims to keep abuses secret.|
Cardinal Seán Brady, former head of the Catholic Church in all Ireland, has admitted the official church enquiry into the sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priest, Fr Brendan Smyth, was conducted under a cloak of secrecy designed not to reveal the truth and protect and compensate the victims, but to protect the abuser and the church against scandal.
For his part in this coverup, Cardinal Brady, who has never been officially sanctioned by even so much as being stripped of his title, was allowed to retire on a full pension at the normal retiring age for a priest, after spending a year on fully-paid gardening leave whilst an underling did his work for him.
Brady made this admission to the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry and admitted that the questioning of a 14 year-old victim was intimidatory, intrusive and inappropriate. Amongst the questions asked was whether the victims had enjoyed being abused. Claims that the victims had been willing participants and had been to blame for the abuse because they tempted vulnerable priests, was to be an early defense widely employed by the Church as more and more of these scandals surfaced.
|Fr Brendan Smyth. Allowed to continue abusing boys for another 20 years.|
There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view to not destroying the good name of the church. [Smyth's abuses were] unspeakable crimes [but we felt there was] confidentiality resting upon us too...
The scandal that somebody who was ordained to serve people should so abuse the trust for their own pleasure was appalling. To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret - very, very secret. Everybody involved would be bound to secrecy too.
We didn't take into account sufficiently, at all, the impact and the care that was needed for the boys and their parents. That was a mistake. That was wrong.
Cardinal Brady - evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
The church did not inform the police of the allegations and Smyth was allowed to continue abusing over 100 boys over a period of 40 years until he was finally jailed in 1994, almost twenty years after Brady knew what he was up to and about which he did absolutely nothing bar intimidate the victims and swear them to secrecy and banning Smyth from hearing confessions. During this period the then Fr Seán Brady was elevated to the rank of Cardinal and Archbishop of Armagh. It would be astonishing if he told no-one at the Vatican what was going on and how he was handling these emerging abuse scandals.
Brendan Smyth died in prison in 1997.
I suppose the victims are fortunate in one respect. They didn't live in Holland, where victims of Catholic clerical abuse who complained to the police were blamed and vindictively castrated for 'being homosexual'.
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