Sunday, March 3, 2013

CARDINAL KEITH O'BRIEN ADMITS HE DID IT...

...and asks forgiveness.
A Scottish cardinal on Sunday acknowledged having engaged in unspecified sexual misbehavior, apologized for his actions, and promised to stay out of the church's public life in a statement that comes at an awkward time for the Vatican.
....

O'Brien initially rejected the claims, saying he was resigning because he did not want to distract from the upcoming conclave of cardinals that is due to pick a successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy Thursday. O'Brien also became the first cardinal to recuse himself from the conclave because of personal scandal; other voting-age cardinals have in the past stayed home because of infirmity or because they were prevented by their governments from participating.

On Sunday, the Catholic church in Scotland issued a statement quoting O'Brien as saying that there had been times "that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal."

"To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness," the statement continued. "To the Catholic church and people of Scotland, I also apologize. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic church in Scotland."
There will be no basilica in Rome for Cardinal O'Brien.  How fraught the conclave to elect the next pope will be with pressure to assure that whoever is elected will not be accused of misconduct in the near or far future.  I pray that those who have secrets in their pasts that could shock or embarrass the church further will be honest enough to take themselves out of the running.  I have good friends who are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and I care about them and wish for them better and more peaceful times.  

8 comments:

Bonnie said...

Good would be if he spent the rest of his sorry life in prison. And joining your prayers for better and more peaceful times for your friends who are members of the RCC.

JCF said...

But doesn't acknowledge, repent of, or ask forgiveness for his vicious homophobia? No deal, O'Brien!

Erp said...

I think O'Brian has been accused of is sexual harassment of adult men. Possibly this includes coercion because the men were seminarians or priests and he a bishop into sexual activity which might be rape under Scottish law. However neither usually means a life sentence. Personally and assuming he is guilty, I would like him to recognize that approaching for sex adults (male or female) who consider him to be their boss is wrong and make appropriate redress.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I don't know that the men were underage, but the cardinal was way out of line because he was in a position of power over the priests and former priest. I hope he ask forgiveness personally, if the men choose to see him.

As for the homophobia, there's a slew of RC prelates who should ask public forgiveness for that, but I don't see it happening soon.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Erp that is my understanding, and I have no idea what the consequences for the cardinal would be under the law in Scotland. Thus far the priests have not identified themselves, and, now that O'Brien has stepped down, they may feel that they accomplished their purpose.

Erp said...

Sorry Grandmere, I was responding to Bonnie's comment about life imprisonment. Assuming the charges are true, the cardinal was indeed way over line. but not it seems with children or others for which life would be appropriate. What is also sad is that the hierarchy is likely to see that it being same-sex is worst than breaking a vow of celibacy and that worst than abusing his power.

Bonnie said...

It is my understanding that they went to him for counseling. So repugnant that he made them his therapy. Hence my comment about spending the rest of his sorry life in prison.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Bonnie, no question that O'Brien's behavior was a terrible abuse of his position and power.

Though a bishop is supposed to be the pastor to the priests in the diocese, I'd advise any priest to have a care about seeking counseling from his bishop, who is also his boss. Just saying and not at all meaning to diminish the gravity of O'Brien's actions. No matter how good the bishop, he's still the boss, and it's well for all priests to keep that in mind, IMO.