Friday, January 18, 2013

Church to unveil Brady successor

Cardinal Brady would have been due to retire when he reached the age of 75 in August 2014. He may continue in office until that date.A successor to the Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady (73) will be announced at a press conference in Armagh this morning.

The appointment of a co-adjutor Archbisop of Armagh - who will have canon law entitlements to succeed Cardinal Brady - has been expected for some time.

Cardinal Brady would have been due to retire when he reached the age of 75 in August 2014. 

He may continue in office until that date.

The Cardinal has been subject to much criticism since it emerged in March 2010 that he had conducted inquiries into allegations of child sex abuse involving Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975 at the conclusion of which he swore two boys to secrecy who he believed were abused by the priest.

Following the then Fr Brady’s investigation, Fr Smyth was prevented from ministering in Cardinal Brady’s native Kilmore diocese until 1984. 

The civil authorities were not informed of Fr Smyth’s abuse of children and he continued to abuse young people until shortly before his imprisonment by a Belfast court in 1993

A native of Laragh, Co Cavan, in the diocese of Kilmore, Cardinal Brady was born in August 1939. He was educated at Caulfield national school, Laragh; St Patrick’s College, Cavan; St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the Irish College, Rome, where he was ordained in February 1964. He received a doctorate in canon law at Rome’s Lateran University in 1967.

His first appointment was as a teacher in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, where he was from 1967-80. In 1980 he was appointed vice-rector of the Irish College in Rome and in 1987 became rector there, a post he held until 1993 when he returned to Ireland to become parish priest at Ballyhaise in Co Cavan.

On February 19th,1995 he was himself ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, and on the retirement of Cardinal Cahal Daly succeeded him as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland on October 1st 1996. He was installed as Archbishop of Armagh on November 3rd, 1996.

On October 17th, 2007, Pope Benedict announced that Archbishop Brady was to be created a Cardinal and he was elevated to the College of Cardinals at a ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica on  November 24th, 2007. He is currently chair of the Irish Episcopal Conference.

Later today he will lead a Catholic church delegation at a meeting with the Government in Dublin. 

It is part of the ongoing “structured dialogue” process involving the churches, other faiths and ethical communities.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be accompanied in Government Buildings by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, Minister for Health James Reilly and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.

The church delegation will be led by Cardinal Brady, who will be accompanied by Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Dr Colm O’Reilly, Bishop of Cork and Ross Dr John Buckley, Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly, Fr Michael Drumm, chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership, and Fr Gearóid Dullea and Fr Tim Bartlett of the Irish Episcopal Conference secretariat.

The agenda is expected to include abortion legislation, school patronage and the divesting of Catholic-run schools to other patron bodies. 

Recent unrest in Belfast and the pressures of the recession are also expected to be discussed.

A plenary meeting was hosted by the Taoiseach in May 2011. 

It was attended by Cardinal Brady, senior representatives of other Christian churches, senior Muslims, Jews, Bahá’is and humanists.

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