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Head of Irish Catholic Church agrees abuse deal

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, has agreed to a legal settlement over his role in administering an oath of secrecy to a teenage victim of sexual abuse in 1975. The victim was abused by priest Brendan Smyth when he was 12 years old and was forced to sign an oath of secrecy.

The abuse continued after Cardinal Brady witnessed the oath but so far the Cardinal has merely stated that he was ashamed of his presence at the meetings where the children were made to sign the oaths of silence. This falls far short of publicly acknowledging and accepting the failings of the church and in my opinion the calls for his resignation seem well justified.

Smyth died in 1997, just one month into a 12 year sentence after pleading guilty to 74 charges of indecent and sexual abuse on boys and girls over a period of more than 30 years.

This is just the latest scandal to hit the Irish Catholic Church amongst the hundreds of other cases of sexual abuse by priests that have come to light in recent decades. Many of the victims are now seeking a state investigation and this would appear entirely warranted.

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