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.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.
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."
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the UK's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned as the head of the Scottish Catholic church after being accused of "inappropriate acts" towards fellow priests.The writers point out that although Britain will not have a vote in the conclave, since Cardinal Murphy O'Connor will be present at the pre-conclave gatherings, Britain will still have a voice.
News that Pope Benedict had accepted the cardinal's resignation as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh came after the Observer disclosed a series of allegations by three priests and one former priest.
O'Brien has denied the allegations and had been expected to continue in his post as archbishop until mid-March, when he was due to retire at age 75.
However, in a statement released by the church on Monday, it emerged that the pope had accepted O'Brien's resignation a week ago, on 18 February.
Confirming he would not now go to the conclave, O'Brien said: "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.
A few days ago, the BBC reported that Cardinal O'Brien suggested that Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
The Telegraph reports:
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, says the proposals to allow same-sex unions are “madness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.The Roman Catholic hierarchy never gives up in its attempts to interfere in the lives, not only of their own flock, but of everyone. I ask you: Where lies the “madness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” to be left alone to live a peaceable life with the person you choose? A same-sex marriage causes no harm to anyone, except in the fevered imaginations of people who refuse to occupy their minds with serious problems in the world, such as poverty, umemployment, wars, famine, etc., etc., etc.
The cardinal’s intervention, in an article for The Sunday Telegraph, is the strongest criticism yet from any church figure of the plans, which are due to be unveiled this month by Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister.
He accuses ministers of trying to “redefine reality” and change long-standing laws and traditions “at the behest of a small minority of activists”.