The Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, has submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Armagh as he today reaches the episcopal retirement age of 75, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Under canon law, every bishop is required to offer his resignation to the Pope when they reach that age.
According to his spokesman, the leader of the Irish Church submitted his letter to the Holy See over the course of the past month. Last year, Archbishop Eamon Martin was consecrated coadjutor archbishop meaning that he will succeed Cardinal Brady.
The spokesman said: “When Pope Francis accepts the retirement, Coadjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin will become Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.”
Cardinal Brady has come under pressure to resign due to his role in investigating a clerical sexual-abuse case.
Two Irish abuse survivors who met the Pope on 7 July, Marie Kane and Mark Vincent Healy, demanded that Cardinal Brady retire no later than the day he turns 75.
They are highly critical of his role in a 1975 canonical trial that came to light in 2010 which investigated the abuse of a teenager, Brendan Boland, by the late Fr Brendan Smyth.
The matter resurfaced in 2012 when a BBC Northern Ireland documentary revealed that the then Fr Brady had not reported Smyth’s abuse of Boland and other children to the civil authorities.
In July, Brendan Boland published in his book Sworn to Silence transcripts signed by Fr Brady from the canonical process. Cardinal Brady has always insisted he was simply a note-taker during the process.
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