Monday, February 25, 2013

Cardinal O'Brien Scandal

Recently, four men, three who are priests and one who left and got married brought charges to the Vatican against Cardinal Keith O'Brien of the United Kingdom.  They allege that Cardinal O'Brien in the 1980's made homosexual advances towards them while visiting, and/or praying compline (night prayer) them.

The charges seemed fishy because of the long wait (over 30 years) to bring them up; especially when the Cardinal was set to retire on March 17th due to reaching the age of 75.  Back in November, O'Brien had submitted his resignation.  Pope Benedict XVI decided to accept it now.

Statement from O'Brien:

Approaching the age of 75 and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh to Pope Benedict XVI some months ago. I was happy to know that he accepted my resignation "nunc pro tunc" – (now – but to take effect later) on 13 November 2012. The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013, and that he will appoint an apostolic administrator to govern the archdiocese in my place until my successor as archbishop is appointed. In the meantime I will give every assistance to the apostolic administrator and to our new archbishop, once he is appointed, as I prepare to move into retirement.
I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest. Looking back over my years of ministry: for any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended.
I thank Pope Benedict XVI for his kindness and courtesy to me and on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Scotland, I wish him a long and happy retirement. I also ask God's blessing on my brother cardinals who will soon gather in Rome to elect his successor. I will not join them for this conclave in person. I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me – but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor. However, I will pray with them and for them that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they will make the correct choice for the future good of the church.
May God who has blessed me so often in my ministry continue to bless and help me in the years which remain for me on Earth and may he shower his blessings on all the peoples of Scotland especially those I was privileged to serve in a special way in the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

While not stating whether the allegations were true or not, O'Brien does state, "For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended."  We are left to wonder what really happened.

Cardinal O'Brien has decided to skip the Conclave and will not vote for the new Pope as well.  The United Kingdom is now without a voice in the election of Pope Benedict XVI's successor.  He claims that he did not want to take the attention away from the Conclave.

If the allegations are true, this would give a serious blow to the Church of the United Kingdom.  Cardinal O'Brien was very outspoken against the advancement of the LGBT agenda in his nation.  They even named him "Bigot of the year."  That being said, to speak out against the LGBT agenda while having inappropriate contact with males demonstrates hypocrisy.  The Cardinal recently stated in an interview that priests should have the option to marry.

I will update this post as I learn more.  Hopefully we will learn whether or not the allegations are true.  Some are speculating that the Pope's acceptance of the resignation shows he knows that O'Brien is indeed guilty and wanted to push him out fast.  Others are claiming that perhaps Pope Benedict XVI may have "skeletons in his closet" which forced him to resign days ago.  However, no one has charged the Pope of any wrong doing.

*****UPDATE 3.3.2013******

Cardinal O' Brien has admitted to sexual misconduct.  He said in a statement:

"I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal,"

He did not elaborate on what exactly the conduct entails, but did apologize to the Church and the people of Scotland.


Original Post 2.25.2013 Sources:


  1. Maybe it would be useful to check the credentials of one of the journalists involved in the publication of this story. Do have a look at his wikipedia link:

  2. In any group or society that has slavish devotion to its leaders/precepts, there will always be those who exploit situations. What makes it harder to accept, is when those who make rules for others to follow are shown to be hypocrites and liars, especially when that organisation does its best to hide or protect them.
    This is not reserved to religious groups and cults, but it does seem that they have more than their fair share, especially when you consider the number of adherents to their faith/rules. I would be more in support of the Catholic Church (I refer to the organisation and ruling 'class', not the rank and file believers) if they were to be honest straight away and deal with these issues.

    1. The Catholic Church will always have the human element to it. No matter what rules exist, men and women will still do stupid things. This is part of the concupiscence that is in human beings after Original Sin. Jesus Himself said to do as they say not as they do. The most important thing are the teachings, not the teachers. Like with any institution, it takes time to investigate and verify claims of misconduct. However, the Catholic Church has a zero tolerance policy that it takes serious.


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