Speaking at Lough Derg following a penitential pilgrimage ahead of next month’s Eucharistic Congress, Dr Brady said he had no intention of stepping down from his position as Cardinal, despite widespread abhorrence at the news of his role in the desperate handling of clerical sexual abuse in the mid-seventies. The Cardinal cited the “many many calls from people who want me to stay on” in his defense but was unable to offer any credible sources, save for a few childish, hastily-fabricated names such as Gumbo Biggins, Blimbo Bumhole and Cleftus O’Reacharound.
But he said he hoped a coadjutor – with succession rights – would be appointed to his archdiocese as soon as possible. “So then you will have two of us, which will be better, I suppose. Like if you have an ice-cream, it’s better again if you have two. It’s the same with Cardinals” said the Cardinal. Dr Brady admitted that he now realised that the parents of children who were being abused by Brendan Smyth should have been informed about the allegations of abuse being made against him. “They probably should have been told alright. I think I must have forgotten. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on sometimes!” siad Brady, before slapping himself on the wrist jokingly and making a scrunched-up ‘bold Cardinal!’ face.
“What am I like!” he added, before shrugging his shoulders in a comical gesture and lighting a cigarette which was tucked behind his ear underneath his large Cardinal’s hat.
Dr Brady said he apologised without hesitation to Brendan Boland, and to all survivors of abuse. “I called him and said that I felt bad. You know, felt not great. I said it was awful guff, you know – what went on. I can’t remember really but that was the gist.”
Cardinal Brady’s apology to Brendan Boland follows comments by the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise about the issue on Sunday.
Speaking yesterday to RTÉ’s This Week programme, Colm O’Reilly said he could not understand why the Cardinal had not publicly apologised to Mr Boland. He said that the Catholic Church “should be doing everything we can” to meet the requests of abuse survivors.
Bishop O’Reilly told the programme that it would not take much and would not take long for Brendan Boland’s request for a public apology to be met. But Brady predicted he may be unavailable for a public appearance for the foreseeable future: “Sorry, can’t. Love to. But I’ve loads of mass on at the mo so I’m tearing busy.”
“Has anyone got any fags?” added the Cardinal.