A church leader who has admitted his failure in the Brendan Smyth case has refused to absolve Cardinal Sean Brady from blame and believes the Primate of All-Ireland should quit.
Father Kevin Smith was the abbot who transferred vile paedophile Smyth from parish to parish even after he was accused of child abuse.
The former head of the Norbertine Order, Fr Smith has confessed that he is partly responsible for the hundreds of rapes committed by the late Smyth.
Now he says that Cardinal Brady, leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, must share some of the blame for failing to report the paedophile priest to the civil authorities.
The 81-year-old retired priest, forced to resign in wake of the Smyth scandal, believes Brady should follow suit.
“Of course Cardinal Brady should resign, I’m not the only one responsible for this affair,” claimed Fr Smith in an interview with the Irish Independent at the Order’s Cavan base where Smyth is buried.
Fr Smith’s role in the case has also come under the spotlight in the Irish media after the latest revelations surrounding Brady’s part in a 1975 enquiry against Brendan Smyth.
The Independent reports that: “Former Abbot Smith has admitted in the past that he moved the serial abuser on numerous occasions in an effort to keep him from forming attachments to families and their children.”
He later acknowledged that the policy was ‘inadequate’.
Reports at the weekend also claimed that Fr Smith actively lobbied to have a ‘children ban’ against Smyth lifted by the church.
The paper says that current Bishop of Kilmore Dr Leo O’Reilly has confirmed that in 1984 Abbot Smith wrote to his predecessor Bishop Francis MacKiernan seeking an end to the ban.
Bishop MacKiernan agreed to the request in a decision that would allow Smyth to prey on children more easily according to the paper.
Bishop O’Reilly told the media that the decision gave ‘permission to the pervert priest to return to hearing confessions and celebrating Mass publicly’.
The Independent says that the decision was reviewed every six months for the next three years before reviews were then initiated annually. It was only revoked in 1993 as the RUC investigations into Smyth stepped up.