So Cardinal Brady is not going to resign despite revelations from the BBCs “This World” program that he was in possession of the names and addresses of victims of the Catholic Church’s most prolific paedophile Brendan Smyth. Yet did nothing with this information to stop him.
Of course he’s not. Because that would actually require growing a spine. Why take responsibility for your own failings when it’s so much easier to judge others on theirs?
The Catholic Primate of all-Ireland (such a grand title for such an evidently weak man) has done what the Catholic Church are so prone to do in this situation (a recurring one I hasten to add); a lethal concoction of straight-up denial and buck passing. Brady yesterday released a statement regarding the allegations. A statement that I personally find so insulting that my head comes a little bit closer to exploding every time that I read it. In fact if I can channel the emotions it provokes within me into a coherent piece of writing I’ll take it as a personal triumph.
It is the most snivelling, whining and frankly piss-poor excuse for an apology or even an explanation that I have ever read. What’s striking yet not at all surprising is that Brady manages to blame everything and everybody but himself for Smyth’s ability to remain undetected for so long. It reads like the kind of spiel my 7 year old Godson comes out with when he is caught doing wrong by his parents (that’s probably an insult to my Godson). In fact, Brady has the audacity to paint himself as a victim, stating:
“With others, I feel betrayed that those who had the authority in the Church to stop Brendan Smyth failed to act on the evidence I gave them. However, I also accept that I was part of an unhelpful culture of deference and silence in society, and the Church, which thankfully is now a thing of the past”
I’m sorry Cardinal Brady, you feel betrayed? How the hell do you think the victims of this evil predator, the predator you did nothing to hinder, the victims that you knew about yet did nothing to help, how do you think they feel? That is if you can stop wallowing in this disgusting self-pity for just one moment and think of someone other than yourself? A hard ask I know.
“Accepting” that he was part of an “unhelpful culture” is in fact the closest we get to an apology from Cardinal Brady. Unhelpful? The salesgirl at Topman who doesn’t know if they have the shirt I like in my size is unhelpful. The O2 call centre worker who doesn’t know what my bill is for this month is unhelpful. The feckless idiots who work for Student Finance are unhelpful. A man who is part of a culture wherein children can be openly abused and yet nothing is done about it is downright sick, barbaric and bordering on evil. But oh wait it wasn’t him! It was “others”, it was the “lack of guidelines” and whatever other reason this pathetic excuse for a man, let alone a supposed man of God can clutch at.
I cannot believe that resignation was even offered as a choice to Cardinal Brady, how can a man remain the highest Catholic authority and therefore possibly moral voice in Ireland when it is now known that he was privy to one of the most horrendous crimes thinkable and yet did nothing? This man who espouses atonement for our sins yet cannot recognise his own. His own which are, in my opinion, more grievous than any you or I are likely to ever commit. How can a man so blinded by his own arrogance that he believes himself to be a victim then be thought appropriate to cast his own judgement on his suitability for this role?
If there’s one thing we now know it’s that Cardinal Brady’s judgement is severely flawed, as is his common sense and moral compass. He is not a man of God. Resignation is not a luxury he should be afforded, it is not one he deserves. It carries too much dignity. Dignity he stripped away from those victims when he sat on information vital to stop their abuser. He should be dismissed from the clerical state at the very (and I mean very) least.
But he won’t be, of course he won’t be.
Unsurprisingly the powers that be in the Catholic Church are closing rank, stating that Brady did what was expected of him, and did pass on the data to those with the authority to deal with it. Within the Church of course. God forbid any higher authority outside of the Church such as the police were to get involved.
The man is a weak, piteous, self-serving (not God-serving) poor substitute for a human. It’s a miracle that he has been offered the option to resign and at least have some control over his future, unlike those victims of Fr. Smyth. For once Cardinal Brady, do the decent thing; grow a spine, admit your failings and resign.
You owe that much to those children.