Friday, March 26, 2010

Cardinal urged to withdraw his defence in Smyth case

Cardinal urged to withdraw his defence in Smyth case

Fri, Mar 26, 2010

Catholic Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Séan Brady has been called upon to withdraw his defence in a legal case involving an alleged victim of paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.

The individual is suing Dr Brady in his capacity as Archbishop of Armagh and as the Catholic representative in Ireland in a case that is due before the High Court.

The legal action began in 1997.

The alleged victim claims he was sexually assaulted on a number of occasions by Smyth in Dundalk in the early 1970s.

The individual alleges the church called an ecclesiastical court to deal with the allegations once they were first raised and assured him that Smyth would never be placed in a situation where he could abuse other children.

According to Dr Brady's defence, which is dated February 2009, the cardinal argues there are no grounds for suing him and asks for proof that the alleged acts of abuse took place. He is also said to deny having called the ecclesiastical court or of offering assurances to the alleged victim.

RTÉ, which has seen the primate's defence, reported this morning that the solicitor for the individual was "incredulous" at hearing expressions of remorse over clerical sex abuse.

The broadcaster says the man's solicitor wrote to Dr Brady's solicitors, calling for the defence to be withdrawn as it was compounding the wrongs inflicted on his client.

Earlier this month, the cardinal apologised for his handling of complaints against Smyth and expressed shame that he has not always upheld the values that he professes and believes in.

The apology came after it emerged Dr Brady conducted canonical inquiries into allegations of child sex abuse by Smyth 35 years ago, involving two young people, without reporting the allegations to civil authorities.

© 2010

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