Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

Cardinal Brady denies Vatican wants him to resign

Cardinal Sean Brady
Cardinal Sean Brady is being sued at the Dublin High Court

Reports that the Vatican want the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland to resign over a child abuse scandal have been denied.

As a priest in 1975 Cardinal Sean Brady was at meetings where children signed vows of silence over complaints against paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

A number of newspapers reported that the Vatican hierarchy want the cardinal to stand aside.

However, a spokesman for Cardinal Brady dismissed the story.

"This kind of headline on a story, I would not dignify with a response," he said.

Cardinal Brady is being sued by a man who claims he was abused by Smyth.

The man is suing Cardinal Brady at the High Court in Dublin in his capacity as head of the church.

Documents lodged at the High Court allege that the victim was abused by prolific paedophile Smyth while he was an altar boy in Dundalk in the early 1970s.

The alleged victim contends that the church called an ecclesiastical court to deal with the allegations and assured him and his father that Smyth would never be allowed to abuse children again.

The cardinal's defence, which is dated February of last year and which is not sworn, denies such a court was called or that such assurances were given.

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