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Cardinal Brady backs national abuse inquiry, considers resignation

Catholic World News - April 02, 2010

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, told abuse victims on March 31 that he supported a national inquiry into abuse by Irish priests and religious and that he would reflect between now and Pentecost Sunday on whether he should resign.

Calling Cardinal Brady’s support for a national inquiry “a giant step forward,” John Kelly of Survivors of Child Abuse, who was present at the meeting, recounted that “the Cardinal said that this drip-feed of scandals must stop, and we told him the only way it can stop is if there is a national inquiry-- both north and south of the border.”

“He agreed with that, although there is a difference in the route and the path which that should take. We got the impression that he thinks it should be a voluntary exercise between the parliaments in the north and south, with the co-operation of the Church. We felt it should be statutory, and he said that they won’t have any objections if it’s decided there will be a statutory inquiry.”

Told by victims that he was a “lame duck leader” who should resign “with dignity and honor,” Cardinal Brady “was very moved by that-- nearly to tears in fact,” said Kelly. “The impression we got … is that he may not be around for too long.”

However, Marie Collins, another victim present at the meeting, said that “he looked more the damaged leader than the wounded healer,” adding, “he was defensive and felt it was unfair for an angry public to call for him to resign.”

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