Clerical abuse victims have urged Pope Francis to accept the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh.

Cardinal Brady offered his resignation last month ahead of his 75th birthday.

Heavily criticized for his handling of the clerical abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church in Ireland, Cardinal

Brady has said he is ‘looking forward to the day’ when his resignation will be accepted.

Abuse victims have called on the Pontiff to accept the resignation with immediate effect.

The Irish Independent reports that abuse survivor Marie Kane would be ‘surprised’ if the Pope didn’t allow Cardinal Brady to retire soon.

Kane, who met Pope Francis last month, told the paper: “I would hope for a quick response from Pope Francis. I would be so disappointed if it even took months.

“After all that was said in those meetings in Rome with the Pope and the feeling I got from him, I would hope that he would actually carry it out straight away.”

Dr Brady has faced criticism over his role in the Church’s handling of abuse claims against pedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

In a statement issued Dr Brady revealed that he had offered his resignation to Pope Francis last month ahead of his 75th birthday this weekend.

He said: “I look forward to the day when my resignation will be accepted and when Archbishop Eamon Martin will take over as Archbishop, a position for which, I believe, he is excellently prepared.

“Last month I offered my resignation to Pope Francis in accordance with the requirement of Canon Law.  I did so in anticipation of my seventy-fifth birthday which I will celebrate on Saturday.

“As soon as Pope Francis accepts his resignation Archbishop Eamon will become Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

“Archbishop Eamon has been warmly welcomed into the diocese.  He has worked tirelessly in getting to know its priests, religious and lay faithful, as well as by becoming involved in every aspect of the life of the Church in Armagh and beyond.”