The Great Enema Continues

The pattern appears to continue.  When the bishop has not himself committed the sexual sin, he has tended to be left to face the music from flock and civil authorities, if civil authorities (that is, us laity) press charges.  If he has committed the sexual sin himself, he’s gone.  O’Brien is now gone–leaving us with one less knave at the conclave.  Would that others would recuse themselves and save us the grief of having to endure their self-absorption.   God forgive O’Brien and the others–especially me–who bring shame on Christ’s Name and Church.

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  • James H, London

    The really grotty thing is, he was a major voice against the gay ‘marriage’ lobby, winning a ‘Bigot of the Year’ award from Stonewall (which I regard as a badge of honour).

    [Multiple expletives deleted]

    • WesleyD

      His history on that issue is very convoluted. Before 2003 he was known as an outspoken “liberal” on sexual issues. When he was made cardinal in 2003, his public Profession of Faith included some very unusual (and unprecedented?) statements supporting the Church’s teaching on contraception, homosexual activity, and priestly celibacy. There was no official explanation given by the Scottish church or the Vatican of why this was done, but it was alleged that someone high up had required it of him. Even the press was unable to explain this using any of its usual oversimplifications and distortions.

      Perhaps we will never know the full story. Sometimes I wonder whether intellectual humility and patience are to the blogosphere and instant-news-cycle what chastity is to a brothel.

  • Bob

    Seems Hypocrite of the Year would have been more fitting.

  • “One less knave at the conclave.”

    That’s pretty good.

    • No, it’s actually horrible.

      It should be “One fewer knave at the conclave”!

      Sheesh, can’t find a good grammar nazi anywhere these days….

      • Ed the Roman

        I’ll bet you’re one of those knuckle-dragging troglodytes who doesn’t think loan is a verb, as well.

        • Aw, I’m all in favor of verbing my nouns.

      • Robert, I love you! That’s one of my pet peeves.

  • JoAnna

    I don’t know. “Innocent until proven guilty” would seem to apply here. It seems that these days, all two or three priests with a vendetta against a bishop have to do is band together and make a vague accusation of “inappropriate behavior” from 30 years ago in order to bring the bishop down.

    O’Brien may very well be guilty of something, but right now there’s no evidence, or proof – just vague accusations that are probably hearsay.

    I’m reserving an opinion until there is more evidence to evaluate.

  • Faith

    In re: Bob’s post, I think you can be gay yourself and still not be for gay marriage. Look to the French for taking the lead on that one. So I don’t know if hypocrisy is necessarily a fitting insult in that regard. Hypocritical because he wasn’t faithful to his vows is another thing. I happen to have attended a college back in the 1980s associated with a seminary. I had a couple of seminarian acquaintances, one of whom left because of all the homosexuality that was rampant in the culture at that school. So if this stuff happened between priests 30 years ago. . . . well, I can see how it happened. Doesn’t make it right, but we are not talking about pedophilia in this case. And, like JoAnna, I think I too will reserve my judgment.

  • Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. The story here is that four guys, three of them active priests, have accused Keith Cardinal O’Brien, the loudest voice in the UK on behalf of the unborn, of the likely victims of euthanasia and of traditional marriage, of “inappropriate behaviour” towards them when they were adults. Thirty years ago.

    Adults. Thirty years ago. Thirty-three years old in the case of the guy who claims he was a 20 year old seminarian. The others were priests.

    Now they did not just get together and tell the nuncio. They slipped the story to the English press—to the Observer, the Sunday version of the “Guardian”, the UK’s most “right-on” lefty newspaper, mind you, not even to the Scottish press. And the Observer and everyone else was delighted to publish these unproven allegations that the Cardinal behaved “inappropriately” 30 years ago, but not the names of the adult men accusing him of ….not very much as yet.

    No, I admit it is not so great when men sworn to celibacy seem to have hit on you (if that’s what happened), but in such circumstances I have either just extricated myself or gone to the correct authority right away or tried given the guy the benefit of the doubt. Some celibates are just dorks.

    And no, it is not so great, when people in authority hurt your adult feelings (if that’s what happened) or you think you’re closer friends with them then they are (or whatever), and there are appropriate channels to go through, but the Observer 30 years later is not one of them.

    Unlike the majority of people who read this blog, I live in Edinburgh and I have seen and met the Cardinal in a “hi, how do you do” kind of way. I have heard him preach, and I have heard him speak at a rally for traditional marriage. I have seen him on television umpteen times. I have heard amusing stories about him, and they were all about what a lefty he used to be, and what silly things he sometimes says or does (like sing “Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud” at the Edinburgh Festival). They never, not once, suggested a hint of anything camp or otherwise gay.

    I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be a bishop who has just discovered that three of the guys (the priests still in active ministry) he has worked and prayed and possibly concelebrated Mass with for the past thirty years have hated him that whole time and harboured a grudge for “inappropriate behaviour” he might not even remember or thought was “inappropriate” or for whatever else it was that made them stick the knife in 30 years later. And they didn’t just go to the Nuncio, they went to the English Press, an institution whose motto is “Make it first, make it fast, make it up.” And of course the Press is doing its damnedest to make “inappropriate behaviour” sound like “sex abuse.”

    The excuse given by these presumably 50-something year old priests is that they want the conclave to be “pure” (of sinners? Good luck with that!) but one wonders then why they didn’t say anything when Cardinal O’Brien went to the last conclave, eight years ago.

    I can’t know if Cardinal O’Brien did whatever it is only a very few people know was actually alleged against the Cardinal. But I do know he has been an absolutely fantastic Cardinal, kind and friendly to everyone, sometimes a bit goofy (“Mud, mud, glorious mud”–poor man, what a horrible irony), open to and supportive to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and courageous in his defense of Life on a very Gospel of Death island.

    Catholics are a small minority here; when the Poles joined the EU and came to Britain, they doubled the numbers of church-going Catholics in Edinburgh. This hit on the Cardinal (for whether or not he is guilty of “inappropriate behaviour” 30 years ago it is still a hit) is tragic for us all–although no doubt great for the gay rights activists and politicians pushing for gay marriage.

    Incidentally, the man tendered his resignation months ago, and the Holy Father accepted it before the Observer broke the story. He’s been doing poorly in health for months; we all expected him to retire on March 17.

    • Oregon Catholic

      I have no idea about the specifics in this case, but sometimes the reason people wait years to reveal things like this is because they feel they are the only one and don’t want to expose themselves on their own. If it happens that multiple people find out about each other, then that may be when things come to light. And it may have come to light within the Church long ago and it’s only the public revelation that took 30 years.

      Lot’s of people have been shocked to learn that someone they thought seemed just great had a hidden and shameful aspect to their life. So your personal experience with the cardinal isn’t necessarily proof of his actual character.

      • No but the still-anonymous accusations about events that are said to have occurred 30 years ago aren’t either.

  • Thinkling

    I too originally had the another-one-bites-the-dust knee jerk reaction. But the more I read about this case the weirder it gets.

    Let justice move fairly forward. No one disagrees. But this is a Cardinal whose orthodoxy for a while was not beyond reproach, but then who seemed to recover some fidelity gravitas . This type of “betrayal” (to be read in your best Screwtape voice) would certainly give him Enemies in Low Places. The timing and method of the disclosure of accusations doesn’t pass a smell test.

  • Alias Clio

    It can take a very long time for people to come forward with allegations of bad behavior for all kinds of reasons, but in such cases it is usual to have rather worse allegations than this to bring out. Now, that is not in itself a good thing: serious misconduct ought to be reported immediately, for the sake of everyone concerned. But the fact that this was kept back for so long, and seems to have been rather ambiguous (or why no further details?) does make me wonder what is really going on.

    Some years ago I was astounded when a psychiatrist whose patient I was for about a year was accused of professional “misconduct”. I wondered briefly if the accusations might be false, but as I read the story it detailed behavior that was clearly immoral, and far too specific, too wrong, and too *peculiar* to be the fruit of an overactive imagination or mental illness. This seems to have been left deliberately vague.