He was responding to calls from Brendan Boland who again called on the Catholic Primate to make a public apology instead of the personal apology offered. Mr Boland, who was abused by Fr Brendan Smyth in Dundalk, Co Louth, in the 70s, maintains the offer of a personal apology shows Church leaders are not willing to accept their responsibilities.
However, a spokesman for the Cardinal said he had apologised publicly for child abuse suffered on many occasions, one of which was a at 10am mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, for St Patrick’s Day last year — a Mass broadcast live by RTÉ Radio 1.
During the Mass, Cardinal Brady said: “This week a painful episode from my own past has come before me. I have listened to reaction from people to my role in events 35 years ago. I want to say to anyone who has been hurt by any failure on my part that I apologise to you with all my heart. I also apologise to all those who feel I have let them down. Looking back I am ashamed that I have not always upheld the values that I profess and believe in.”
A spokesman went on to say: “This homily was widely reported by the national and international media. Over the years, Cardinal
Brady has met with survivors of abuse to express his personal apology for their suffering by those clergy who have perpetrated such egregious crimes and shattered a sacred trust. In Mr Boland’s case, Cardinal Brady was asked to offer an apology and to acknowledge and accept the failings of the Church in its handling of the case. He immediately offered to write to and then to meet Mr Boland, in person, to offer that apology.
“Whilst this offer was not accepted, it still stands. Cardinal Brady takes this opportunity given by RTÉ today to express once again his deep sorrow to all those who were abused as children, their families and to all people who feel rightly outraged and let down by the Catholic Church’s failure of moral leadership and accountability.”