Cardinal Sean Brady 'sorry' for covering up abuse

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The Independent Online

The leader of Ireland's Roman Catholics said yesterday that he was ashamed of his part in dealing with a child sex abuse scandal 35 years ago, and that he ws uncertain what the future held for him.

Cardinal Sean Brady has faced calls for his resignation after revelations that he participated in interviews with two victims of the paedophile priest Brendan Smyth in 1975, but did not notify police. "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," he said in a St Patrick's Day sermon at Armagh Cathedral in Northern Ireland.

"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."

In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said he would soon send a pastoral letter to the Irish Church and hoped it would promote "repentance, healing and renewal".

Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, said on Tuesday that his Catholic colleagues in Ireland must tell "the entire truth" about their decades of covering up child abuse, but he stopped short of calling for Cardinal Brady to step down. Cardinal Brady said last month that he would resign if he was found to have endangered children.

Over the weekend, Irish newspapers reported that Cardinal Brady interviewed two of Smyth's victims in 1975, but never told police and had both victims, former altar boys, sign oaths of secrecy. Cardinal Brady says he was following superiors' orders in 1975, and had no right to go to police. He said the secrecy oaths from the two boys were necessary to protect the integrity of his investigation.

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