Cardinal O’Brien: How Many Knew?
It is well-known that innocence is slow in discovering filth. An innocent man can work for a long time near an homosexual without ever even thinking that he might be a pervert; a person more aware of the filth of this world will generally be more alert, and therefore faster in realising what is going on; an homosexual will probably be fastest, as every little signal revealing a perverted mind will be most transparent to him, a perverted mind.
The public admission of Cardinal O’Brien concerning his terrible affliction is now a few hours old, but poses a number of questions think the Church will find difficult to ignore.
It is obvious that the Cardinal did his best to defend Church teaching regardless of his perverted inclinations; but it is just as clear not only he did not manage to overcome his affliction, but yielded to it in some way – the extent will, no doubt, become clear in time – during a rather long period.
How can it then be, wonders yours truly, that the tendencies of the priest, then Bishop, then Cardinal were not noticed by a number of people? Some might have been too innocent to notice; some others – alas, no doubt about that – noticed because they belonged, as the Italian saying goes, “to the same parish”; but a number of perfectly heterosexual people must have noticed that something was wrong, surely?
Let us think this further: is it probable no one had noticed? No.
Is it possible no one ever sent notes and warnings to his superiors? Extremely unlikely.
Is it possible that such warnings were sent and given, and were ignored by the competent authorities without much thinking, or because of the wrong thinking? You can draw your own conclusions, but I think it probable almost to the point of certainty.
Obviously, the Cardinal was no Jimmy Savile and the noticing of his tendencies rather more difficult to spot. But for decades? Seriously?
The gravest matter here is not that he made inappropriate advances to other priests – this is something perverts will do – but that an homosexual was allowed to become priest in the first place and to climb the steps of the ladder up to the very top of his country, even becoming the elector of Popes.
Those dealing with these matters are well advised to carefully look at the past circumstances of the entire church life of the Cardinal, and try to let emerge as much as they can. Whilst many who have covered him might be dead, such an investigation would provide useful information concerning the way these things (do not) work.
It simply cannot be that an homosexual makes it to seminarian, priest, bishop, and cardinal without many control mechanisms having failed miserably.