Cardinal Brady will only resign if Pope tells him to. But the Pope is busy worrying about more important matters…..
16 March, 2010
I see that the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, who is facing calls to resign over revelations that he did not report complaints against a paedophile priest to police, has said that he will only step down if told to by the Pope. He has also defended his role at a 1975 meeting where children abused by sex offender Father Brendan Smyth were asked to take a vow of silence.
I’m not sure where on the Pope’s agenda the possible resignation of Cardinal Brady sits. Perhaps he has more pressing matters to attend to, and he isn’t bothering about dealing with members of his team who failed to deal appropriately with criminal priests engaged in child sex abuse.
Indeed, I’m sure we all take comfort from His Holiness instead taking time out to play a leading role in the battle against another major threat to human civilisation: full-body scanners.
At a meeting in the Vatican at the weekend, the pope made an authoritative – if entirely unexpected – incursion into the raging debate over the planned use of airport body scanners. He told an audience from the aerospace industry that, notwithstanding the threat from terrorism, “the primary asset to be safeguarded and treasured is the person, in his or her integrity”.
Respect for the principles he enunciated “might seem particularly complex and difficult in the present context”, he told his audience, which included airport managers, airline executives, security workers, pilots, cabin and ground staff.
They had to contend with problems arising “from the economic crisis, which is bringing about problematic effects in the civil aviation sector, and the threat of international terrorism, which is targeting airports and aircraft”. But, he warned: “It is essential never to lose sight of respect for the primacy of the person.”
How nice to see the Pope confirming that “the primary asset to be safeguarded and treasured is the person, in his or her integrity”. Perhaps then he might match deeds to words and make a start in his own organisation, and expel any priests, bishops or cardinals that were, shall we say, less than diligent in bringing rampant child sex abuse to light.