New speculation on Irish cardinal's resignation
August 14, 2014
Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Ireland, will celebrate his 75th birthday on August 16, and submit his resignation to the Vatican-- touching off a new round of speculation about the timing of his departure.
All bishops are obliged by canon law to tender their resignations on reaching the age of 75. However the Pope is not obliged to accept a resignation promptly, and many prelates remain in office well beyond their 75th birthdays. (For instance, Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, is not 78; Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Spain, will turn 78 next week.)
Cardinal Brady came under pressure to resign in 2010, when it emerged that in 1975, as a young priest, he persuaded two young men to sign an agreement promising that they would not report the misconduct of a notoriously abusive priest. The Irish primate insisted that he would not resign, but would serve out his term.
Last year the Vatican named Archbishop Eamon Martin as a coadjutor for the Armagh archdiocese. He will succeed Cardinal Brady as successor to St. Patrick and Primate of All Ireland upon the cardinal’s resignation or retirement.