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MAY 11 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Irish cardinal resists calls to resign over 1975 inquiry
BY DAVID V BARRETT
EMBATTLED Irish Cardinal Seán Brady has said he will not resign over revelations of his behaviour in a child sexual abuse scandal.
A BBC documentary last week strongly criticised his role in a 1975 canonical inquiry into a paedophile priest, Norbertine Fr Brendan Smyth.
But despite increasing calls for his resignation from politicians, commentators and clergy, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland defended his involvement in the inquiry and accused the documentary The World: The Shame of the Catholic Church of overstating and misrepresenting his role.
The documentary focused on the story of Brendan Boland, who was abused by Smyth at the age of 14. Smyth drove him and other children on trips around Ireland, and took them to guesthouses where he subjected them to sexual abuse. Brendan Boland told a local priest what had happened; the priest told the boy’s parents, and then took him to the late Bishop Francis McKiernan of Kilmore.
In the subsequent Church investigation Brendan Boland was questioned by three priests, including the then Fr Brady, a canon lawyer, whose role in the inquiry was disclosed in March 2010.
Cardinal Brady said then that his role had simply been as a “notetaker”, and that Brendan Boland’s parents had accompanied him to the interview.
But the BBC documentary found that although his father traveled there with him he was not allowed to be present during the interview itself. The boy was not even able to speak to his father about it afterwards, because he was made to swear on the Bible that he would say nothing to anyone.
During the interview Brendan Boland told the priests the names and addresses of several other children who were being abused by Fr Smyth, expecting that they would be saved from further abuse. One of them, when interviewed later by Fr Brady, corroborated everything Brendan had said. He too was sworn to secrecy.
In 2010 Cardinal Brady said: “I think I would resign” if it were found that anything he had done had allowed the abuse of children to continue.
But after Brendan Boland named the other abused children to Fr Brady in 1975 their parents were told nothing, and the police were not informed of the abuse, the documentary alleged
Over the next 13 years Fr Smyth went on to abuse another boy Brendan had named to Fr Brady, and the boy’s sister and four of their cousins.
Cardinal Brady said last week that he had trusted his superiors to take further action; he said he was not the “designated person” responsible for informing the authorities. The documentary was “seriously misleading” and had exaggerated his role in the inquiry, he said.
“I did not formulate the questions asked in the inquiry process. I did not put these questions to Mr Boland. I simply recorded the answers that he gave,” he said.
Cardinal Brady continued: “The documentation of the interview with Brendan Boland, signed in his presence, clearly identifies me as the ‘notary’ or ‘note taker’. Any suggestion that I was other than a ‘notary’ in the process of recording evidence from Mr Boland is false and misleading.”
But calls for the cardinal to resign are increasing.
Fr Kevin Smith, the former head of the Norbertine Order, told the Irish Independent: “Of course Cardinal Brady should resign, I’m not the only one responsible for this affair.” Fr Smith, now 81, was forced to resign after accepting that he had moved Fr Smyth from parish to parish after learning of the abuse allegations.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, while saying “I have never called for anybody’s resignation,” has called for “an independent commission to investigate the activities of Brendan Smyth, as to how he was allowed to abuse for so many years”.
Eamon Gilmore, Deputy Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, said: “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.”
Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, said Cardinal Brady “should reflect on the wisdom of his position”; the Irish Catholic Church, he said, was now in a “very grave situation”.
Leading theologian Fr Vincent Twomey, a former professor at Maynooth College, told RTE that: “For the good of the Church, I’m afraid I am of the opinion that he should resign.” Letters: Page 13
Mgr Stephen Robson has been appointed an auxiliary bishop
Photo: Paul McSherry
Pope appoints new auxiliary for St Andrews and Edinburgh BY IAN DUNN
POPE BENEDICT XVI has named Mgr Stephen Robson as an auxiliary bishop for the St Andrews and Edinburgh archdiocese.
The Pope appointed Mgr Robson, archdiocesan chancellor, to the role on Tuesday morning, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said his installation on June 9 would be a key moment in a period of transition for the Scottish Church.
Cardinal O’Brien said that, as he approached his 75th birthday, he was “delighted” Mgr Robson had been appointed his auxiliary bishop in order to, “in the words of St Paul, make up what is lacking in my body for the body of the Church”. When the cardinal announced the appointment of Mgr Robson, 61, at the Gillis Centre on Tuesday the news was greeted with cheers by the assembled staff who work with the chancellor, and an impromptu chorus of “for he’s a jolly good fellow”.
Mgr Robson, who is also parish priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea,
North Berwick, and Our Lady of the Waves, Dunbar, told the Scottish Catholic Observer on Tuesday that he was “absolutely petrified” at the prospect of becoming a bishop but that it was “tremendously affirming” that the Holy Father had “seen some gifts in me to be able to appoint me here and I pray to God I can use the gifts that I have to support and serve the cardinal and the archdiocese”.
The cardinal said he had known Mgr Robson for more than 35 years and in that time “he has been involved with me in pastoral work and school work, seminary apostolate and during his further studies, literally everything a priest should be involved in”.
Mgr Robson said it had been a “tremendous privilege” to have been associated with the cardinal for the past 36 years.
“He was my spiritual director when I entered the seminary, he assisted at my ordination and gave the homily at the first Mass I preached,” he recalled. “I know he said he needs my help to make up something lacking in himself, but I will have to rely on the Good Lord because without him I can’t think of anything lacking I can make up.”
Mgr Robson said he was also aware that he was taking on a tough role at a difficult time for the Church.
“Someone said to me that to become a bishop nowadays is to wear not a mitre but a crown of thorns,” he said. “Leadership in the Church is a difficult vocation but one which has to be done, in which the lord asks us the message of the Church be preached in season and out.”
He has adopted the episcopal motto Peregrinatio pro Christo (“On pilgrimage for Christ”).
But despite any difficulties the Church faces, Mgr Robson says he “loves being a priest” and “have loved everywhere I have been sent”.
He said: “I have had many interesting and fruitful jobs in our archdiocese in the past 33 years... And none of it has been possible without the constant help of the Good Lord and the encouragement of my superiors, wherever I have been.”
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Pro-lifers pay tribute to Phyllis Bowman Al-Qaeda: ‘Catholics are open to conversion’
Pope addresses new part-time Irish ambassador
Continued from Page 1: pro-life campaigner, said Mrs Bowman’s work would continue after her death. “She is probably already getting the heavenly hosts organised,” said Miss Widdecombe, who was also a close friend.
“Right to Life has lost a much-loved founder and all of us a much-loved friend,” she said. “The biggest tribute we can pay her is to ensure her vigorous defence of the helpless unborn child continues unabated.”
Mrs Bowman worked for the London Evening Standard in the 1960s and was originally in favour of the legalisation of abortion. She changed her mind when she came to fully understand the reality of the practice and the impact it was to have on society.
Mrs Bowman was present at the meeting of January 11 1967 that led to the founding of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
She took up the role of press secretary and in the following decade quickly rose to the position of national director.
She parted company with the organisation in 1999 amid internal divisions and in 2003 set up the Right to Life pressure group which has since worked extremely closely with pro-life MPs and peers.
Although Jewish by birth, Mrs Bowman’s pro-life convictions led her into the Catholic Church. She is survived by her husband, Jerry.
BY MICHAEL KELLY
AN AL-QAEDA official concluded last year that Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion, “particularly after the rage expanding against the mother Church [Vatican] as a result of its scandals and policies refused by many of its public”.
US al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn wrote to Osama bin Laden in January 2011 and laid out reasons for reaching out to Catholics, particularly the Irish. He urged bin Laden to use anger at the Church’s mishandling of clerical abuse to encourage Irish people to convert to Islam, according to newly declassified documents.
The letter was contained in files allegedly found at bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout after he was killed by US special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last May. The Combating Terrorism Centre, a privately funded research base, posted the documents on its website last week.
The letter from Mr Gadahn highlighted the reason for approaching the Irish, noting Ireland was not a participant in “Bush’s Crusade wars”.
It noted “the increasing anger in Ireland towards the Catholic Church after exposing a number of sex scandals and others” and spoke of the hunger of youth because of the economic downturn in Ireland.
BY CAROL GLATZ
LAWS AND government policies should not make economic inequality worse, but help people live more decent lives, Pope Benedict XVI told the new Irish ambassador to the Holy See in Rome last week.
He said: “The quality of human relationships and the sharing of resources are the foundation of society, allowing everyone to have a role and to live in dignity in accordance with their aspirations.”
The Pope was speaking to five new ambassadors to the Holy See who were presenting their letters of credential. The ambassadors were from Ireland, Ethiopia, Armenia, Malaysia and Fiji. None will be residing in Rome.
British-born David Cooney is Ireland’s new ambassador to the Vatican. The top-level diplomat is also secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and will reside in Dublin.
Ireland officially closed its embassy to the Holy See, and embassies in a handful of other countries, saying it was a cost-cutting move. However the timing of the announcement last November coincided with increasing criticism from some Irish government officials over the Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse claims in Ireland.
In a speech to the group the
Pope said that today’s modern means of communication made it very quick and easy to know what is happening around the world.
Being much more aware of people’s material and spiritual suffering should lead to a new call to action “to respond, with justice and solidarity, to anything that threatens humanity, society and the environment”, he said.
Armed conflict, famine, pandemics and people flocking to cities have exacerbated both old and new forms of poverty, and the global economic crisis has caused an increasing number of families to face growing financial insecurity, he said. When poverty and extreme wealth exist side-by-side in society, it gives rise to a sense of injustice, which can spark rebellion, he said.
“It is, therefore, appropriate that nations ensure that social laws do not worsen inequalities,” but help people to live decently, he said.
True human development respects human dignity and lets people take control of their lives, he said. Initiatives using micro-credit or “equitable partnerships,” for example, “show that it is possible to harmonise economic goals with social needs, democratic governance and respect for nature”.
Pope Benedict said the problem of spiritual poverty must also be addressed.
NEWSBULLETIN Do not turn migrants into scapegoats, says bishop AUXILIARY Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark has said that migrants must not be made scapegoats for the failings of the economy.
He was speaking to about 2,000 migrants at the annual Mass for Migrants at Westminster Cathedral on Monday. In his homily he said: “My final prayer is that God will give all of us the courage to speak out prophetically and do what we can to prevent migrant workers from within or outside the European Union becoming scapegoats and targets of popular frustration with the economy.”
A Nigerian choir sang at the Mass and young Vietnamese people did a liturgical procession and a dance.
Vatican hosts trafficking summit A VICTIM of human trafficking addressed a Vatican conference this week organised by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The event, on Tuesday, was aimed at prevention, pastoral support and rehabilitation, and featured expert speakers and delegates from all over the world.
The English woman, who had been trafficked to Italy by an Albanian man, was one of numerous speakers at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace conference on combating human trafficking, the aim of which was to use the Church’s resources around the world to combat the trade.
Delegates included the head of the Polish police force, a senior member of the FBI and senior officers from Europol and from British police forces. It was moderated by Julie Etchingham from ITV News at Ten and attended by Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark.
Joint academy is approved THE DIOCESE of Shrewsbury has approved the closure of a Catholic college and its replacement with a new Catholic-Anglican academy conditionally.
Blessed Robert Johnson Catholic College in Wellington, Shropshire, which was first established in 1963, will be replaced by an ecumenical academy in the Priorslee area of Telford. The new joint academy will accommodate 750 pupils.
Cardinal Burke to visit London CARDINAL Raymond Burke, prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, is to celebrate Mass at the London Oratory later this month.
The Mass will take place at 11am on May 26, the feast of St Philip Neri. Cardinal Burke will also preside at the Solemn First Vespers of St Philip and Pontifical Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the Oratory on May 25 at 5.30pm.
Southwark diocese: a correction LAST week we reported that a group of parents were to meet Archbishop Peter Smith and Southwark director of education Dr Anne Bamford to discuss a new free school. We would like to clarify that the parents had only sent a letter and no meeting was scheduled. We apologise for the error.
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THE BISHOP of Lancaster has expressed concern that Catholics are ignorant about their faith and are failing to effectively hand it on to future generations.
In an address to head teachers in his diocese Bishop Michael Campbell said: “Given the acknowledged current and widespread ignorance among Catholic adults of what just what we believe, we have to ask just how well we as a Church are teaching and handing on the faith.”
He continued: “The failure of a younger and middle-aged generation to engage with the faith is there for all to see. The traditional Catholic practices that many of us grew up with – making the sign
Bishop asks how to fix ‘widespread ignorance’ of faith BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
of the cross, genuflecting, the basic prayers, awareness and respect for the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in our churches – are no longer familiar to recent generations of our schoolchildren.”
The bishop’s comments follow remarks in his New Year pastoral letter in which asked: “Is it right or sustainable to expect our Massgoing population of 21,000 to support our schools and colleges in which often the majority of pupils, and sometimes teachers, are not practising Catholics? Is it time for us to admit that we can no longer maintain schools that are Catholic in name only?”
Bishop Campbell used his address last week to elaborate on the themes of his pastoral letter further and clarify any misunderstandings about his view of Catholic schools.
Addressing head teachers in his diocese he said: “If my pastoral letter of January 1 was interpreted as a threat or understood to be undermining the work of Catholic schools, be assured that was far from its purpose.
“We have much to be proud of where our Catholic schools are concerned and their educational and academic achievements are there for all to see.”
But the bishop continued to ask searching questions about what had gone wrong in the teaching of the Catholic faith.
He said: “If some of our children and young people are leaving primary and secondary schools, to adapt Pope Benedict’s phrase about parts of western Europe, religiously illiterate, what has gone wrong and what is the remedy?”
Reflecting on the decline of Catholic practices among school children the bishop asked: “How do we explain this? Is it anyone’s fault in particular, or simply due to secularism and the often scarcely veiled anti-Catholic and post-religious atmosphere of our time?”
He continued: “There is an ancient dictum – Ecclesia semper reformanda (“The Church stands always in need of reform”) – does that principle have any relevance to the way we hand on our Catholic faith to the generations who come after us? Put another way: how do we hand on effectively the treasure of the Catholic faith, which has been entrusted to us, ‘the pearl of great price’ of which the Lord speaks in the gospel parable?”
The bishop emphasised that the decline in standards was certainly not a question of “blame or criticism, but how do we start a dialogue and respond to Pope Benedict’s call, a conversation in which we can discuss and address these issues, with the assured help of the Holy Spirit”.
He added: “I again acknowledge the sterling work done by so many of our schools, and how can we improve and enhance their Catholic ethos?”
The bishop also described himself as the first teacher of the Catholic faith and appealed to the head teachers for their help in the diocese. He said: “The bishop by virtue of his office is the first teacher of the Catholic faith in the diocese, but he requires the help and cooperation of so many others to carry out that task. Your role as head teachers in assisting me to discharge my mission is vital, and I place on record my deep appreciation for all that you do.”
Bishop Campbell’s strong concern for Catholic education and its catechetical content mirrors that of his predecessor, Bishop Patrick O Donoghue.
In November 2007, Bishop O’Donoghue released a document entitled Fit for Mission? which focused on the educational standards in Catholic schools.
The document opened with the question: “Is Jesus Christ the true centre of our schools and colleges?” Bishop O’Donoghue wrote: “A Catholic ethos in a school and college is not a set of prohibitions rather, as Pope Benedict puts it, a ‘positive option’, based on the recognition of the dignity of the human person called to a loving relationship with God, called to live the spiritual and moral dignity of a child of God in the communion of the Church.
“A Catholic ethos in a school or college is an ‘environment permeated with the Gospel spirit of love and freedom’, because – as St Paul writes – ‘where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:17),” the bishop’s document said. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Order of Malta faces safeguarding investigation
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE ARCHBISHOP of Westminster has suspended the use of a hospital chapel as the Order of Malta’s designated Oratory until diocesan and hospital authorities are satisfied that safeguarding standards are being upheld by the order.
Although members of the order can still use the chapel in practice, a spokesman for Archbishop Vincent Nichols said that, “following the pending inquiry into safeguarding standards, Archbishop Nichols of Westminster has suspended the initial decree issued by Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor in 2008, which made the chapel of St John and Elizabeth an Oratory of the Order of Malta”.
The order’s safeguarding procedures have come under scrutiny following the conviction of a man connected to the order for possessing indecent images of children.
In a press statement, a spokeswoman for the Order of Malta said: “The Order of Malta takes the issue of safeguarding very seriously.
“Safeguarding procedures are firmly in place and the Order of Malta is appealing to the archdiocese to lift the suspension against their
Oratory, for which they have assurances that His Grace, the archbishop, will be pleased to review the matter positively.”
Vernon Quaintance, a photographer who worked for the Knights of Malta and the Latin Mass Society, admitted to possessing videos showing graphic footage of children being abused. He was given a 40-week jail term, suspended for two years.
Quaintance runs a website where he offers to photograph any traditional Catholic events in the Greater London area on a no-fee basis, other than travel expenses.
Mike Lord, LMS general manager, told the Tablet that the society stopped using Quaintance in 2008.
A split has now emerged in the governing council of the British Branch of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta over Quaintance, who also served as a sacristan at the order’s weekly Mass. Nine members of the order ’s governing council, including former Chief of Defence Staff, Lord Guthrie, have reportedly left the council.
The Order of Malta’s spokeswoman said: “Vernon Quaintance is not and never has been a member of the order.”
Westminster Cathedral hosts historic papal choir performance
WESTMINSTER Cathedral hosted the Sistine Chapel Choir last Sunday, the first time the group has ever performed in Britain.
The Sistine Chapel Choir sings at most papal liturgies in Rome, and traces its beginnings back to at least the fourth century, before being reorganised by St Gregory the Great. The glory days of the choir came under the rule of Pius X from 1903, who appointed the composer Don Lorenzo Perosi as director.
Today the choir comprises about 20 adult singers, 11 tenors and nine basses, and 30 boy choristers, who are sopranos and contraltos. The performance was directed by the liturgist and musician, Mgr Massimo Palombella SDB, whom Pope Benedict XVI appointed as choirmaster in 2010. The Sistine Chapel Choir performed various Gregorian chants, the works of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and three compositions by Lorenzo Perosi.
Catholic blogger Dylan Parry said their “majestic sound was quite uplifting at times” and that “ many probably left feeling that the papal choir was actually quite good – far better than some of its critics would have us believe”. Pastor Iuventus: Page 17
Religious symbols banned on badge BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE OLYMPIC faith badge will not contain any religious symbols at all to avoid causing offence.
The badge, to be worn by 193 chaplains represented in the multi-faith centre in the Olympic Village – Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Baha’i Faith, Jain, Buddhist and Zoroastrian – was to have shown the symbols for all the religions but it was thought that members of one religion might be unhappy about wearing the symbol of another religion.
Instead the badge will have the word “faith” and a globe, alongside the Olympics and Paralympics logos.
Anglican Canon Duncan Green, head of the advisory committee of faith representatives to the Games, said: “We wanted something that people of all faiths could wear and feel comfortable with and that showed the world faiths coming together. If we want something that appeals to all faiths it has to be neutral.”
The decision echoes an episode in Twenty Twelve, a BBC comedy about the Olympics, in which a priest was asked to remove his clerical collar in case it offended a Muslim leader. Scriptwriter John Morton said: “You can just imagine the discussions, and what’s really funny and sad is the amount of care, thought and sensitivity that has gone into producing something that is so utterly bland.”
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Gay people given advice on how to report their GP BY SIMON CALDWELL
GAY PEOPLE are being given advice on how to have their doctors struck off if they upset them by speaking about their religious, moral or political beliefs.
A leaflet brought out by the General Medical Council (GMC), the body that regulates the medical profession, invites gay men and lesbians to lodge a complaint “if you think your doctor is not fit to practise, or may be a risk to patients”.
The leaflet, called “Protecting patients: your rights as lesbian, gay and bisexual men”, informs the reader that under the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guide all doctors are told that they must not must not express personal beliefs, “including political, religious or moral beliefs”, in ways that might exploit the vulnerability of patients and cause them distress.
Part-funded by the Department of Health, it gives a helpline, email and postal address and promises to “respond to you as quickly as we can” on receiving a complaint.
Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship said that the leaflet could provoke a slew of complaints against doctors simply because they were Christians.
“I believe doctors have a duty to serve their patients according to their healthcare need without partiality or discrimination on any basis,” he said. “My concern is that it in the current environment it will be used to make vexat ious complaints against doctors who take a traditional Christian view on sexual ethics.
“We have already seen an escalation of civil liberties cases under the 2010 Equality Act brought against counsellors and adoption advisers who have not wanted to participate in sexual counselling or adoption involving same-sex couples,’ he said.
“Many lesbian, gay and bisexual people find traditional Christian views on sexuality offensive, and some even regard both Christiani ty and also the Bible as ‘homophobic’.
“Accordingly, some might well feel that the mere expression of orthodox Christians beliefs by a doctor in any public context, inside or outside a medical consultation, warrants a complaint to the official body. The leaflet interestingly makes no mention whatsoever of a doctor’s right to abstain from undertaking referrals on conscience grounds or to hold or express moral and other beliefs provided it is done sensitively and appropriately in spite of the fact that these rights are acknowledged in other GMC documents.
“This lack of balance runs the risk of making complaints even more likely.”
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P ho tographe r: M o hamme d
Sudan and South Sudan stand on the brink of war. Now, more than ever, our brothers and sisters in the two ountc e than ever w, mor No dan and South Su Su es need our pr ri ount s and sist thero , our br e than ever e than ever, our br and on the brink o dan st dan and South Su o s in the tw er s and sist . ar f w and on the brink o countries need our prayers.
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We ask the respective governments to turn away from the e join us in praying f Pleas turn t e o r t f the p s o nes dark ective g esp e ask the r W
darkness of the past, to consider their people, and ay g.uk/pr cafod.orouth Sudan S or Sudan and or peace f or peace for Sudan and e join us in praying f e join us in praying for peace f able. ating t tio o the neg turn t der their p onsi o c ast, t f the p o turn aw vernments t o ective g ay es need our pr to return to the negotiating table. Please join us in praying for peace for Sudan and or Sudan and able.eople, and der their p om the ay fr o turn aw cafod.or
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