The Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady had a poor turn out at the Armagh Archdiocese meeting organized to show support for the embattled leader. Only 20 out of the 150 priests who had been invited were in attendance at the prayer gathering.
According to reports in the Belfast Telegraph, many of the Archdiocese’s priests have privately voiced their concerns about his leadership. The poor attendance is a response to the allegations surrounding Dr Brady’s handling of sexual abuse allegations made against pedophile Father Brendan Smyth during the 1970s.
After the airing of a recent BBC documentary which slammed Dr Brady’s involvement in the scandal number politicians north and south of the border in Ireland called for the Cardinal to resign. He refused.
Dr Brady has kept a low profile since the documentary was aired. However directly after the documentary he announced that he would not step down from his position.
The documentary revealed that in the mid-1970s Dr Brady had been told of the sexual about of 14-year-old Brendan Boland and other children at the hands of Smyth. Boland gave the names and addresses of those other children at risk of abuse.
Brady did not pass on this information to his superiors or warn the victim’s parents.
A priest in the diocese claimed the poor show at Brady’s prayer gathering was due to “low morale” and said it “was a sign that priests of the diocese are very fed up."
A spokesperson for Brady said the poor attendance was due to “short notice."
Cardinal Brady told The Irish Catholic, the event was "a most beautiful and moving experience."
"I am very grateful for all the prayerful support that I have received."