Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brady defends seal of confession in abuse case

CARDINAL Seán Brady has strongly defended the seal of confession and reiterated the Church’s opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

In a homily at the Marian Shrine at Knock in Mayo, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland stressed the inviolability of the "sacred and treasured" rite.

"Freedom to participate in worship and to enjoy the long-established rites of the Church is so fundamental that any intrusion upon it is a challenge to very basis of a free society," he said.

"For example, the inviolability of the seal of confession is so fundamental to the very nature of the sacrament that any proposal that undermines that inviolability is a challenge to the right of every Catholic to freedom of religion and conscience," he said.

The remarks come just one month after the Government said it would introduce legislation making it mandatory for priests to reveal details of child abuse, even if they become known in confession. Non-compliance would be punishable with up to five years in jail.

Cardinal Brady has himself been in the headlines in the recent past. He was pressed to explain why he had initially backed Bishop John Magee when claims surrounding Cloyne, in particular one against the cleric himself, emerged in 2008 and 2009.

It also emerged last year that he was at a meeting in the 1970s where two young victims of notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth signed vows of secrecy.

The civil authorities were not informed.