Majority say Cardinal Brady should go - poll

Monday 14 June 2010 16.14
Sean Brady - Says he will not resign
Sean Brady - Says he will not resign

Cardinal Seán Brady has said he is aware of this morning's opinion poll finding that three out of four adults in the Republic think he should resign.

But the Catholic Primate of All Ireland also expressed confidence that he had the prayers and support of many people as he continued his work in renewing faith and structures in the Church at what he termed 'this challenging time'.

The Cardinal was responding to a query from RTÉ News about his unpopularity revealed in the latest set of results of last week’s Ipsos/MRBI survey.

The poll for The Irish Times found 76% believed Cardinal Sean Brady should resign, 15% believed he should not and 9% had no opinion.

Last month Dr Brady said he was determined to remain in office after reflecting for over two months on revelations that he had sworn two teenage victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to secrecy after they gave evidence to a church tribunal in which he participated in 1975.

The children were required by the then Fr Brady to sign an oath of silence about their abuse and to agree to talk to no one about their interviews except authorised clergy.

Gardaí were not informed and Fr Smyth went on to abuse children in Ireland, Scotland and the US before he was finally convicted 20 years later and jailed for a catalogue of sexual offences.

Last month, Cardinal Brady said he would not step down as he wanted to 'help sow the seeds for a genuine healing and renewal in the Church'.

The poll also found four out of five people believe the Church has failed to respond adequately to the Ryan Report last November, which revealed the extent of the abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

The hard-hitting report from judge Yvonne Murphy found four archbishops had effectively turned a blind eye to cases of abuse for 30 years.

One priest admitted to sexually abusing over 100 children, while another accepted that he had abused on a fortnightly basis over 25 years.

When questioned about the Church's response to the Murphy Report, 83% of people around the country and 87% of those in Dublin believed the response was inadequate.

This represents a dramatic hardening of perceptions since a poll last January when 16% thought the Church had responded adequately and 74% felt it had not.

The pollsters questioned 1,000 people face-to-face across the country last Tuesday and Wednesday.