Cardinal Sean Brady last night issued a statement declaring that he would stay on in his position as the head of the Catholic Church of Ireland.
Abuse survivors immediately spoke out about his choice saying that it sent out a message that the Church has not changed.
Brady’s statement said that the publication of the report yesterday by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church would hold the Church to account.
Since the publication of the Murphy report and the revelation that Brady had been involved in the cover-up of Fr Brendan Smyth’s child abuse crimes since 1975 there have been calls for Brady’s resignation.
He said that his diocese would comply with an audit of the Church’s safeguarding practices and asked the Vatican to supply his diocese with an extra bishop. Also a full-time director of Child Safeguarding will be appointed to the area.
Marie Collins, who was abused in the Crumlin Children’s Hospital, feels that Brady would have shown much stronger leadership by stepping down from his position.
“I think the Church needs new leadership and I’m disappointed that we’re not going to get it,” said Collins.
“It’s not a question of revenge; it’s a question of taking responsibility. We can’t have change in the Church here until everyone in the top realizes how actions of the past decimated so many lives.”
Another survivor Andrew Madden said “I think they have a huge credibility problem if they try to speak, of child protection or other moral issues, when their own leadership was involved in the cover-up of the sexual abuses of children and kept it quiet for 35 years.
“It’s very damaging for people on the ground who are doing child protection to see that they’re doing one thing, and that the leadership is minimizing what Brady did in 1975 while they’re trying to be taken seriously.”
One in Four, a support group for victims says they want senior clergy to be held accountable for what they have done. The said that on the week of the one year anniversary of the Ryan Report they were very sad to see that so little had changed in the Church.