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Cardinal Brady will not resign, asks Pope for bishop to assist him

Catholic World News - May 18, 2010

“Committing himself to the Archdiocese of Armagh”-- in the words of an archdiocesan statement-- Cardinal Seán Brady announced that “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 and to working to bring about the healing, repentance and renewal set out for the Church in Ireland by Pope Benedict XVI.”

“I am fully committed to the path that as a Church we must take to the truth that will set us free,” the Primate of All Ireland added in the May 18 statement. “Only decisive action carried out with complete honesty and transparency will restore the respect and good will of the Irish people towards the Church to which we have consecrated our lives.”

Cardinal Brady has been under intense pressure to resign after Irish media sources revived an old story about his involvement in a sex-abuse case in the 1970s. Then a young priest, the future cardinal investigated complaints against a notorious abuser, Father Brendan Smyth, and reported to the local bishop but did not bring the complaints to the attention of police.

The archdiocesan statement continued:

Archbishop Brady then went on to say that he has asked the Pope to appoint a bishop to assist him in addressing the vital work of healing, repentance and renewal, including engagement with survivors of abuse, as well as the many other challenges and opportunities that confront the Diocese of Armagh and the church in Ireland at this time.

The wording of the cardinal's statement did not make it clear whether he was asking for a second auxiliary bishop (Bishop Gerard Clifford is the current auxiliary for the Armagh archdiocese) or a coadjutor archbishop who would eventually replace him. Thus Cardinal Brady, who is 71, seemed to be giving the Vatican the option of arranging for his departure before he reaches the normative retirement age of 75.

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