It is no surprise that yet another member of the Irish Catholic Hierarchy, Sean Brady, has been found to have been involved in covering up the sexual abuse of children by a Catholic priest, in this case Brendan Smyth. This afternoon Cardinal Brady has confirmed he has no intention of resigning. This brings to 5 the number of those within the Irish Catholic Hierarchy who are known to have been involved in the cover up of the sexual abuse of children by priests, either by acts of commission or omission.
Each of these men, Sean Brady, Martin Drennan, James Moriarty, Raymond Field and Eamon Walshe are all still serving Bishops ( despite Moriarty, Field and Walshe having offered their resignations to Pope Benedict towards the end of 2009 ). They are Bishops in a Church which the Murphy Report reminds us ‘is not only a religious organisation but a human civil instrument of control and power... a significant secular power with major involvement in education and health’...and it says ‘the Church ought to have some regard to secular requirements in its choice of leader’ (Chapter 1 Para 55).
Given the Catholic Church’s role as a secular power and its role in our publicly funded services, the Irish Government’s silence is most inappropriate. It is not good enough for Taoiseach Brian Cowen to hide behind the Bishops’ role as religious leaders as he did when the Murphy Report was published - he must be asked to explain to the Irish people, why each of these Bishops has not been asked by him to remove themselves from any role within our health and education services.