Ireland’s top cleric Cardinal Sean Brady is set to be axed in the fall-out from recent sex abuse scandals.
The Irish Independent reports that the Vatican has lined up Cardinal Brady’s successor after his mishandling of abuse allegations. The report states that Papal Nuncio Dr Charles Brown is leading the plans to replace Cardinal Brady within the next two months.
The Church has decided to install a new Primate of All Ireland in a response to two decades of scandal. The plans center on the appointment of an Irish Bishop from abroad before Christmas according to the Irish Independent. The Vatican will overlook Irish based Archbishops in the search for Cardinal Brady’s successor.
Dr Brady has been in the eye of a media and public storm over his handling of various child sex abuse scandals. He has been heavily criticized for the Fr Brendan Smyth case but has steadfastly refused to resign.
Victims of Fr Smyth have called for action after it emerged Cardinal Brady was aware of the abuse allegations against Smyth in the 1970s but didn’t inform police or the parents of the abused. The reports says that at the time he said that he had asked Rome for a bishop to assist him but this was not forthcoming from the Vatican.
The Vatican is now moving to appoint a coadjutor bishop, with the right of succession, to take over from Cardinal Brady.
Leading contenders to replace him include Fr Aidan McGrath from Banbridge, Co Down, who works at the head office of the Franciscan order in Rome.
Also in line are Rome-based Dominican Paul Murray, who is from Belfast; the president of Maynooth, Msgr Hugh Connolly, who is from Dromore, and Derry’s diocesan administrator Eamonn Martin.