18/01/2013

Cardinal Brady Controversy: Vatican To Appoint Bishop

The controversy surrounding the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, could be about to take a new turn, according to the Irish Catholic newspaper.

The paper told the BBC the Vatican is expected to appoint an assistant bishop to the Archdiocese of Armagh to work under Cardinal Brady.

It is thought this new assistant would become his successor.

The Irish Catholic told the BBC it was an "exit strategy" for Cardinal Brady.

The Cardinal has been surrounded in controversy and speculation since a BBC documentary revealed that when Brady had been a priest, he had withheld a list of the names and addresses of people being abused by his colleague Brendan Smyth, and did not pass it on to police or parents.

Brandan Smyth was a Belfast-born priest who became notorious after it emerged that he had sexually abused children over decades.

Last May, 73-year-old Cardinal Brady said he would not resign over revelations he had withheld the information.

Irish Catholic editor Michael Kelly told the BBC the identity of the new assistant was a well-kept secret.

"Normally these things would be an open secret in some way," he said.

"Even senior Irish bishops were only told on Thursday night that the Vatican will on Friday morning at 11:00 Irish time appoint a coadjutor bishop.

"This is an exit strategy for Cardinal Brady and probably something where this new shadow bishop will take over within the next three or four months."

He told the BBC: "It's been very clear that the cardinal's position has been, to say the least, difficult in the church and the Vatican has been engaged in a search for his successor.

"It seems now they have eventually found a successor who will shadow the cardinal, allowing the cardinal, at least on paper, or at least publicly, to go at a time of his own choosing."

(IT)

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