However, Cardinal Brady, who played a role in the cover up of abuse, is refusing to bow to his critics, and his office last night said he will attend and vote in the forthcoming conclave to elect the 266th pope.
Christine Buckley of the Aislinn Centre, a support and education group for survivors of industrial abuse, said she did not think the All-Ireland primate would “dare present himself” for the conclave.
“I think it’s appalling that he thinks it’s OK to go over there, somebody who forced young people to take of vow of silence and allowed a paedophile to continue in a community knowing what he had done,” she said.
Last night, a spokesperson re-iterated Cardinal Brady’s deep sorrow to those who were abused, and their families and to “all people who feel rightly outraged and let down by the Catholic Church’s failure of moral leadership and accountability”.
Meanwhile, in the US, pressure is mounting to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony from the conclave because of his role in shielding sexually abusive priests.
A senior Vatican official called Cardinal Mahony’s participation in the selection of the next pope “troubling,” but said there was no formal procedure to stop the retired Los Angeles archbishop from attending the conclave next month.
Cardinal Mahony recently was rebuked by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, for his handling of abuse cases, although Archbishop Gomez also has expressed support for Cardinal Mahony’s role in the papal conclave.
In an interview with the daily La Repubblica, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the former head of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs said “it will be up to [Mahony’s] conscience to decide whether to take part or not”.
A few weeks ago, the Arch-diocese of Los Angeles, under court order, released thousands of pages from the confidential personnel files of more than 120 accused clergy members. The files show Cardinal Mahony and other archdiocese officials shielded accused priests and did not alert parishioners of the potential risks to their children.
And, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan has been formally questioned about clergy sex abuse in his former Archdiocese of Milwaukee, just days ahead of his departure for Rome.
He answered questions about his decision to publicise names of clergy members who had been accused of molesting children in cases that are mostly decades old, church lawyer Frank LoCoco said.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it would press to make the his testimony public.