If you knew Child Abuse was taking place, could you honestly do nothing at all?


I blogged yesterday about the evidence presented by a BBC documentary that Cardinal Seán Brady, when tasked with investigating some child abuse, was given a list of other children being abused and did nothing about it.

I did not expect to return to the topic so soon, and yet here I am again … why? Well, Mr Brady has been offering more excuses.

His latest claim is this

“It is my view that the This World programme has set out to deliberately exaggerate and misrepresent my role in these events.

“In the course of the programme a number of claims were made which overstate and seriously misrepresent my role in a Church Inquiry in 1975 into allegations against the Norbertine priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

“The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975.”

Having watched the program in question myself, specific things are quite clear …

  • At no point did they imply that he was alone and the only one conducting the 1975 investigation
  • He claims he had no power to stop the abuser – really!!! … what a truly outrageous lie that is, all he needed to do was pick up the phone and tip off the police. If worried about his position, it could be an anonymous tip

Ask yourself this, if you knew child abuse was taking place, if you were in fact given a list of the names and addresses of the children, then how could you possibly in good conscience do nothing at all (except gag the victims) and allow the abuse to simply carry on.  Any claim, such as “I was just there taking notes”, cuts him no slack in my eyes, that’s akin the the getaway driver claiming the robbery was nothing to do with him because he never went inside the bank.

Last night Garry O’Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic, (a chap who usually attacks secular folks) wrote in the evening Herald

Some conservative voices are saying the cardinal is a victim of the culture of secrecy that existed in the Church. But it was that culture that rewarded the ambitious Fr Brady, raising him to very high office and giving him the red hat over his rival in Dublin, Archbishop Martin. If he was a victim, he got well rewarded for playing the game.

What was also clear in his performance on RTE yesterday was the lack of any emotion or human sentiment for victims.

We now also have Eamon Gilmore, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, saying

“I’ve always believed in the separation of church and state,” Gilmore said. “I think it is the job of government and of the state to enact our laws and to ensure that those laws apply to everybody whether they belong to a church or not.

“But it is my own personal view that anybody who did not deal with the scale of the abuse that we have seen in this case should not hold a position of authority.”

In fact we even have Martin McGuinness (yes “That” McGuinness), the ex-IRA man who is now Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, calling for him to step down. When IRA terrorists are suggesting you have been a bit of an immoral git, then it really is time to quit.

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