Cardinal Keith O'Brien

(79 Posts)

Tomorrow's Observer is reporting that three priests are alleging inappropriate behaviour by the cardinal, the UK's most senior Catholic and Stonewall's "bigotry if the year" 2012. If the allegations are true, he's also hypocrite of the year.

cory Mon 25-Feb-13 18:59:52

"It's certainly not a hanging offence"

It would be a sacking offence if he had been an academic making advances to a student or a doctor making advances to a patient. And it would be hard to argue that a new priest or a seminarist is not in the same vulnerable position with regard to his bishop. Can't imagine my university department covering up for this sort of behaviour.

babyboomersrock Mon 25-Feb-13 19:07:20

Cheddars, it's also more than a bit weird that the Pope has chosen to stand down just recently, don't you think? And that a few days ago, Cardinal O'Brien was thinking maybe celibacy wasn't such a good idea after all. And hoping he'd also be allowed to go and live out his days quietly somewhere.

I wonder what we don't know. I wonder what's going on behind the scenes. I read in the press (which is all we have for now) that no-one knew the Pope was going to stand down. Really?? So he just decided to spring it on his flock, and his underlings, without consultation? They had no idea what was in his head?

Naw, don't believe it. Shows how stupid they think we are, though.

LeftWingTwat Mon 25-Feb-13 19:08:03

Just to be clear, I'm not condoning it, just curious it's happening now given how expert the RC church is at cover ups.

cory Mon 25-Feb-13 19:14:36

Oh no doubt somebody is encouraging them to come forward now for political reasons. There always was a lot of manoeuvering around papal elections. Doesn't tell us whether the allegations are true or not.

babyboomersrock Mon 25-Feb-13 19:44:52

Cory,if they've been "encouraged to come forward for political reasons" and if "manoevering" already exists, that doesn't say much for the integrity of the existing system, does it? If the system is so corrupt that people can be bought and manipulated then it's hardly operating on Christian principles.

If the church is so far removed from true and honest decision-making, then the occasional accusation of "inappropriate behaviour" is the least of its problems.

kirstys23 Mon 25-Feb-13 19:54:32

My experience of Cardinal O'Brien, (through his involvement in our school when I was growing up) is that he is kind, warm and of good character. He should be afforded a chance to respond to these accusations and tell his side. Just because there are people in the same profession as him that have done wrong does not automatically mean he is guilty.

babyboomersrock Mon 25-Feb-13 20:39:21

He may be perceived as "kind, warm and of good character" in public, kirstys23, but as we've learned recently, how some men conduct themselves in public bears no relation to their private lives.

He may have been wrongly accused. If this is the case, I'm sure the church will sort it out quickly and put everyone's minds at rest.

Except that you're then left with the fact that three priests, and one former priest, have lied. Why would that be?

idiot55 Mon 25-Feb-13 20:44:54

its all a bit odd from a timing point of view. Sure there is more to this.

What I fund really disturbing was the interview I heard on the radio , all the followers of the catholic church they interviewed supportd him fully.

SucksToBeMe Mon 25-Feb-13 20:55:39

I agree idiot. Growing up, my father was a wonderful moral example of kindness. Since becoming a born again Christian at a RC church he has turned into a nasty,judgmental hypocrite. He will never believe any such allegations against any priests and believes all gays will burn in hell. I liken him to a cult member to be honest hmm

I'm not a catholic so he has no impact on my life, and I could kind of accept his views in abortion and homosexuality if he'd kept them within the Church. However, he has had, in the past, a disproportionate amount of airtime to espouse his bigoted views (linking homosexuality to bestiality, for example). And to me, the only thing worse than bigotry is hypocrisy. I don't doubt the priests' stories - four separate accounts of the same behaviour is more than a misconstrued gesture, or however he will pass it off. I do doubt the catholic church's ability to deal with this in a transparent way.

cory Mon 25-Feb-13 21:02:08

"Cory,if they've been "encouraged to come forward for political reasons" and if "manoevering" already exists, that doesn't say much for the integrity of the existing system, does it? If the system is so corrupt that people can be bought and manipulated then it's hardly operating on Christian principles."

Did I ever say that I had any faith in the integrity of the system?

babyboomersrock Mon 25-Feb-13 21:19:31

No you didn't. I was making assumptions, sorry.

edam Mon 25-Feb-13 21:24:43

The timing thing - there are suggestions at least one of the alleged victims came forward (again) now because he thought it was wrong that such a man should be involved in choosing the new Pope. It seems at least one of them left the priesthood in protest when O'Brien was made a Bishop.

Given the appalling history of this church, I wouldn't be surprised if there were people within the hierarchy who were well aware of complaints about sexual harassment or abuse long before now but who have hushed them up.

Still, the Lib Dems are busy proving it's not just the Papacy that prefers to hush up allegations rather than investigate them and protect the victims...

Cheddars Mon 25-Feb-13 22:25:21

There are some sweeping assumptions being made here. hmm

Regardless of other convicted priests and Suckstobeme's Dad hmm, Cardinal O'Brien hasn't actually done anything illegal as far as I can tell. There is no police involvement mentioned yet. He's also not been given any chance by the Vatican to refute the claims.

Cardinal O'Brien was due to resign this year and these (30yr old!) allegations have bought this forward by a couple of months. It just all seems very convenient to me.

FlutterClutter Mon 25-Feb-13 22:27:16

An appropriate comment from the Daily Mash

Platitude of the Day also worth a read on the subject.

edam Mon 25-Feb-13 22:45:19

grin @ the Mash

Cheddars, how are you so sure nothing illegal occurred? There are a range of sexual offences on the statute book. And whether or not his behaviour falls within the criminal code, he took a vow of celibacy. (And had a duty of care to his priests - I agree with the poster who said priests should be, like teachers and doctors, held to a higher standard than mere Joe Bloggs, as they are in a position of authority.)

I am aware he denies the allegations, btw. I am also aware he resigned PDQ - someone from the Tablet on the radio just said the timing of his supposed original resignation (that has been brought forward) is deeply suspicious as it fell into the period when the Pope is standing down, so was impossible for O'Brien to resign then anyway.

What's really depressing is seeing all the comments on news sites where loads of people are cropping up saying, I don't believe it, why didn't they say anything at the time, they are all a bunch of liars. And they wonder why victims are too scared to come forward! Usually in these cases you eventually find people DID raise the alarm at the time, only they were silenced/harassed/threatened. Look at the current investigations into Cheetham's School of Music...

Cheddars Mon 25-Feb-13 22:59:40

Edam I don't know. That's the point-no one does.

I'm not trying to defend him, nor do I doubt the veracity of those 4 priests' allegations.

I'm just questioning the timing of all this. I suppose I'm questioning the Vatican's speedy acceptance of his resignation.

I'd be interested to know whether he had made any enemies in Rome. Or whether he was about to vote for a particular pope....
smile

edam Mon 25-Feb-13 23:12:11

Goodness knows, Cheddars, Vatican politics is extremely murky - look at the butler case, and the alleged group of gay priests and the Vatican bank... Whatever, if O'Brien has abused his position he had to go anyway.

reliablemillipede Mon 25-Feb-13 23:23:33

Was there any chance that he could of actually been voted in as Pope ?

"What's really depressing is seeing all the comments on news sites where loads of people are cropping up saying, I don't believe it, why didn't they say anything at the time, they are all a bunch of liars. "

Sounds familiar doesn't it? People just don't learn

I am such a conspiracy theorist these days.

My first thought was 'wasn't that the guy on the news a few days ago saying he thought priests should be able to marry?' I'm sure there's quite a bit of resistance to that, so it could be said that some in the hierarchy would want to discredit him and his priests-marrying ideas. What could be easier than to tar him with the, by now, completely-believed-and-almost-taken-for-granted brush of the sexual predator priest? Could be fabricated or could be one of the many cover-ups the churches have carried out, just kept in reserve to be dusted down when it would be useful to expose. Add in the first papal resignation in 600 years, of a pope who has in the past been responsible for covering-up priestly paedophilia and it all just looks too murky for words.

StephaniePowers Tue 26-Feb-13 15:18:39

It could be as simple as: he was due to retire in a couple of months, better that he retire now so the papal election isn't indirectly besmirched by the allegations.

Even if it is that simple, I am glad nobody believes it is, shows we are all a bit more awake, and unwilling to let hypocrites fade away.

Animation Tue 26-Feb-13 16:51:11

'I'm just questioning the timing of all this. I suppose I'm questioning the Vatican's speedy acceptance of his resignation.'

I should imagine the Vatican had been made aware of the 4 priests' complaints some time ago and had been conducting their own investigations.

And who knows maybe it was that last straw that broke the Pope's back - and he was thoroughly pissed off and disillusioned when he himself resigned.

extraterrestrial Tue 26-Feb-13 17:21:27

SucksToBeMe

And you are not judgemental at all? Calling your dad a " nasty judgemental hypocrite.".... And judging as such not only your father but all catholics, because this of course was your primary objective...

And isn't it nasty to slag off your own dad on a public forum ?

So much for self assumed moral supremacy.

Sorry, but I dislike hypocrisy.

Animation Wed 27-Feb-13 09:04:59

A bit harsh there extraterrestral. I didn't read her post to be judging all catholics. There are bad/not so nice Christians in all denominations and she sounds exasperated to me that her dad is one of them. She writes anonymously - he can't be identified.

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