There is growing pressure on the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland to resign over his role in handling the case of a serial child sex abuser.
As a priest in the mid ’70s, Cardinal Sean Brady ensured children signed vows of silence over complaints against a paedophile priest.
Cardinal Brady has apologised to all those, he said who “feel I have let them down”.
Some abuse victims have dismissed his remarks but Brady’s congregation is backing him.
One worshipper at Armagh Cathedral said: “We are very moved because we know that Cardinal Brady is a lovely man but it wouldn’t be for me to judge what he should or should not do. It is a sad situation the Catholic Church finds itself in. We just hope it will rectify itself. It’s going to be a very painful business.”
A female member of the congregation said: “No he’s a good man.”
A journalist said: “Some people say that he should be considering his position. When you heard what he said this morning, do you think he’s doing that?
“Oh yes. All he needs is our prayers,” came the reply.
Brady’s apology followed Pope Benedict’s announcement that he will sign a long-awaited pastoral letter on child abuse, “to help repentance, healing and renewal.”
And Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for “truth and clarity” about sexual abuse committed by priests.
Questions about compensation and changes to the law to bring perpetrators to justice still needed to be addressed she said.