Priests make sexual allegations against Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien
Outspoken anti-gay cardinal named in new inquiry says report
The most senior cleric in Britain has been reported to the Vatican for inappropriate behavior by three priests and a former priest – days after saying the clergy should be allowed to marry.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, born in Antrim, has yet to respond to the allegations stretching back 30 years but a spokesman said they would be contested.
The Observer newspaper reports that the four, from the diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, have complained to nuncio Antonio Mennini, the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain.
The paper reports the four have demanded the immediate resignation of Cardinal O’Brien, not for his outspoken views against gay rights and same sex marriages.
Due to retire next month, O’Brien has condemned homosexuality as immoral, opposed gay adoption and most recently argued that same-sex marriages are ‘harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved’.
The cardinal was named ‘bigot of the year’ by the gay rights charity Stonewall for 2012.
The paper says that one of the complainants alleges that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him, resulting in a need for long-term psychological counselling.
The report adds that the four submitted statements containing their claims to the nuncio’s office the week before Pope Benedict’s resignation on February 11th.
They fear that the church will not fully address their complaints if O’Brien travels to the forthcoming papal conclave to elect a new pope.
One of the complainants told the Observer: “It tends to cover up and protect the system at all costs.
“The church is beautiful, but it has a dark side and that has to do with accountability. If the system is to be improved, maybe it needs to be dismantled a bit.”
The Vatican is believed to be angry at the latest allegations and the Nuncio has told them that he ‘appreciates’ their courage.
The paper reports that the first allegation against the cardinal dates back to 1980 when the complainant, who is now married, was then a 20-year-old seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, where O’Brien was his ‘spiritual director’.
The Observer understands that the statement claims O’Brien made an inappropriate approach after night prayers.
The seminarian is reported as saying he was too frightened to report the incident, but says his personality changed afterwards, and his teachers regularly noted that he seemed depressed.
He was ordained as a priest but he told the nuncio in his statement that he resigned when O’Brien was promoted to bishop.
He said: “I knew then he would always have power over me. It was assumed I left the priesthood to get married. I did not. I left to preserve my integrity.”
The Observer says that, in a second statement, Priest A describes being happily settled in a parish when he claims he was visited by O’Brien and inappropriate contact between the two took place.
15 - 33 | See all comments
- Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after...
- Nelson Mandela once considered a terrorist...
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Hollywood star Gabriel Byrne brands new Pope...
- Top ten negative terms used to describe Irish...
- Irish students told “No Irish Need Apply”...
- Website attracts 80,000 Irish people ready...
As I said, "Green, white and orange would be perfect".Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Seanmor - Yes indeed.Bill O’Reilly slams Nelson Mandela as an unrepentant “communist”
Miceal: one defintion of communism is socialism with a rejection of Jesus. I don't know if Mandela fit that bill, but I do know that Obama does.Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
It is quite apparent that many of the posts on this article strongly favor foreigners, legal and illegal, over the natives whose ancestors have lived