Cardinal Sean Brady makes apology at Mass and speaks of deep shame at Eucharistic Congress

Cardinal Brady has asked forgiveness for the Church and for his own mistakes for failing to respond adequately to child sexual abuse

Cardinal Brady has asked forgiveness for the Church and for his own mistakes for failing to respond adequately to child sexual abuse

The cardinal was giving a homily at a Mass at the International Eucharistic Congress.

“I want to take this opportunity,” he said, “to apologise for the times when some of us were blind to your fear, deaf to your cries and silent in response to your pain. My prayer is that one day this stone might become a symbol of conversion, healing and hope. I hope it will become a symbol of a Church that has learned from the mistakes of the past and strives to become a model for the care and well-being of children. What this stone represents, what has happened in the Church in Ireland and in other places in the world, is a stark warning to all that there can be no passing by on the other side, no room for half-heartedness in our care for the vulnerable and the young.

“Every moral choice we make, no matter how small, has consequences. The smallest act of kindness can bring good far beyond our expectations. The smallest act of selfishness can contribute to a wider culture of evil and death that has harmful consequences far beyond our intentions. So every time I choose good, instead of evil.

“As Pope Benedict said, ‘Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone.

The human heart is a place of great beauty and compassion. It is a place from which the greatest acts of human love can flow. Yet, disturbed by sin, the heart can also be a place of turbulence and darkness. It is a place where the smallest and the most terrible acts of evil can also be born.

The importance of conversion as a journey has a long and honoured place in the Irish Christian tradition. The inner journey of conversion has often been symbolised by undertaking a difficult, penitential walk with others. Many of you here will be familiar with the Camino in Spain.

“Every Eucharist proclaims ‘Christ is risen – Our God is alive!’ He lives in you and in me.

Through His Holy Eucharist he continues to reconcile us to one another. In the memorial of his passion and death, made present in every Eucharist, he continues to reconcile the whole world to himself. Let us therefore be reconciled with God. Let us bring that reconciliation to others. For in this is our peace; in this lies the greatest hope for our world.”