Cardinal Sean Brady will not resign despite his admission to the role he played in the 35-year cover-up, involving pedophile Brendan Smyth.
The Primate of All-Ireland asked Pope Benedict to name an “archbishop in waiting”, who might step into Brady’s place if his health fails.
The Vatican will most likely name the archbishop who will take over Brady’s position after he reaches 75, retirement age.
This move comes just one week after Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin’s speech where he said “strong forces” were at work within in the church to keep the truth about clerical abuse in Ireland secret.
It is believed that Dr Martin was referring to the cover-ups involving Cardinal Brady and the Vatican itself.
Parish Priest of St Augustine’s, Galway city, Father Dick Lynch, accused Dr Martin of “unfocused rants” and said that the speech was merely and media show and lacked substance upon a second review.
Fr Lynch asked “Where did Archbishop Martin find this unwillingness, this resistance?
“Is it within his own diocese, among his fellow bishops, or within the Vatican itself? Bill Murphy (Bishop) of Kerry has more or less stood up and said and asked: ‘Is it I, Lord?' Until this is clarified, the shadow of suspicion falls everywhere.
“This is, I fear, now characteristic of the archbishop's style: throw the grenade into the crowded room and then ask the intended targets to pull the pin themselves.”
Last week Cardinal Brady flew to France as the leader of the annual Armagh diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. It is believed that he will soon announce his intentions to stay on in his dual role as head of the Irish Bishops’ Conference at the Marian shrine and Archbishop of Armagh.
He has already stated his determination to carry on in his positions as “a wounded healer” despite admitting that he had a part to play in the clerical abuse cover-up.