Are Cardinal Sean Brady (and any/all other religious figures) exempt from the law of the land? Even Christ said Render unto Caesar…etc!

Matthew 22:21
Then saith he unto them,  Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
*********************************************************************************
I am drawn (like ‘rubber-necking’ while driving by an accident on the highway) to the recent  and various tribulations faced by the Holy Catholic Church and other religious institutions each time there is a new incident involving misconduct by someone ‘of the cloth.’ Unfortunately such incidents invariably involve minor, innocent children. The allegations have been fast and furious over the past few years, doubtless resulting in numerous settlements being executed between the Church and it’s victims.
In some cases, the allegations need not be directly attributed to the individual perpetuating the abuse, but instead to those who were aware but did nothing about it. Or whom, by their inaction allowed the perpetrators to continue going about their indiscretions, causing untold suffering and harm (both psychological and physical ) to their victims. Always the most vulnerable and innocent.
Cardinal Sean Brady has been in the center of a maelstrom recently. Way back in 1975, while  a fledgeling priest and teacher in Ireland,  he was called upon to investigate and interview two children who had come forward with abuse allegations against a Father Brendan Smythe.
The church statement says that in March 1975, Father Sean Brady, was asked by his bishop, Francis McKiernan, to conduct a canonical (church) inquiry into an allegation of abuse which was made by a boy in Dundalk, County Louth concerning Father Smyth. Accordingly Father Brady and another priest conducted interviews with one of the victims (a boy) on March 29 1975, in Dundalk. Father Brady’s role at that meeting was to take notes. The Catholic Church in Ireland has released more details about why Cardinal Sean Brady asked child abuse victims to sign secrecy agreements over complaints against serial abuser Father Brendan Smyth.
On 4 April 1975, Father Brady interviewed a second boy, who was 15, in the Parochial House in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan. On that occasion Father Brady conducted the interview by himself and took notes. The church said that at the end of both interviews, the boys were “asked to confirm by oath the truthfulness of their statements and that they would preserve the confidentiality of the interview process.”
While the church provides reasons for this requirement for the children to sign oaths of secrecy, they have remained silent on why the Police were not informed at the time? The Church statement confirms that a week later Father Brady passed his findings to Bishop McKiernan and in turn the bishop reported the findings to the local head of Father Smyth’s religious order (the Norbertines). Smyth’s right to practise as a priest were subsequently withdrawn and he was advised psychiatric intervention. The Norbertines (Smythe’s order) conspicuously failed to supervise Smyth who simply went on to to abuse more children.
The Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) suggests that Father Brady’s position has become untenable, quote: “Cardinal Brady is personally implicated in collusion with clerical child sexual abuse,” RCNI director Fiona Neary said. “In recent public statements regarding clerical child abuse he did not make public his role in pressuring and bullying victims to remain silent. He did not make public his own failures to disclosure a known abuser to civil authorities.” “Sexual abuse that could have been prevented was not, and Brendan Smyth continued to abuse children.” End of quote.**********************************
Now  my submission to you …close your eyes and try to visualize the setting. Perhaps a dimly lit, awe-imposing room in a Presbytery or Rectory. A child 14 /15 years or so, one priest asking questions…another taking notes. The interrogation culminating in the child being sworn to secrecy by the interrogators. In other words, the child being firmly admonished/told that he must never speak about what has just transpired in this room to anyone…ever!

Now imagine that was your child or perhaps the child of a close relative/family member or even a friend!
Would you be inclined to forgive either one of the priests involved in the above scenario for not informing the appropriate authorities – and by authorities I mean the Police and not some Superior up the chain of command of their own  clerical heirarchy?
There is a  hackney’d expression that comes to mind : ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse…!’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s