The Vatican has announced today Cardinal O'Brien will leave Scotland for a while, after which… It is not yet decided what will happen.
This is, if you ask me, another of those lost occasions. It would have been so fitting and so wise to announce the Cardinal is going to seclude himself in some remote monastery to spend in a fitting way the years allotted to him. It would have been strong and charitable at the same time. Redemption at work, courtesy of the Only Church.
Instead, we have this non-decision, which does not help anyone – not even the Cardinal -, leaves all questions open, and consolidates the impression the Church does go to extra mile to please her buddies. In fact, it seems to me the decision can be read as “the Cardinal will be sent on extended holiday whilst we see whether we can accommodate his wishes without loss of face”.
Five Stars treatment, I would call it. A regard in striking contrast with the treatment of every priest who were to be accused of improper behaviour by a couple of lunatics (say, mother and son; or angry mother and scared son) with an axe to grind.
Not a good day for the Church in Scotland, for sure.
The news is very recent that Cardinal O’Brien would have been ordered to leave Britain and retire in a location evidently chosen by them.
The decision isn’t surprising as, rather astonishingly – or perhaps not; you choose – the troubled Cardinal planned to retire not in a monastery, to spend the rest of his life in retirement and prayer as would be natural in a man just disgraced for his sexual perversion, but in a rural cottage in the fairly remote East Lothian (Country? Scotland, of course!), near a “lifelong friend”. Now let us reflect…
an old homosexual; living apparently alone; in an isolated cottage; located in a parish led by an “old friend” of his; in the same country he has disgraced.
Is it surprising the Vatican has now intervened? I don’t think so.
What is surprising, though, is that the “old friend” of the Cardinal plans to challenge the plan himself, and here the echoes of “vicious” (old queens) become too loud to be naively dismissed. This “lifelong friend” of the Cardinal is so incensed at not having his lifelong buddy oh so near to his old friendly bosom, that he plans to challenge the decision all alone because he is the (legal) landlord of the cottage in the question and the Church can’t say to him whom to have as guest in his cottages.
Cue his words: “I am 72 years old”, “I have nothing to lose”. How passive-aggressive. Truly, this one looks like a first class bitch. The “I have nothing to lose” hint is also profoundly disquieting, as priests aren’t disgraced for challenging a Vatican’s decision and this, in itself, wouldn’t be a problem at all. What would be the problem is if it emerged the lifelong friendship of the two was anything less than appropriate. In which case the reference to the 72 years old with “nothing to lose” and preferring to risk loss of face to the loss of his “lifelong friend” does begin to make sense.
We do not live on the moon, Father Creanor, and your undue bitching in things that have nothing to do with you are wildly inappropriate in the best of cases, and extremely suspicious – not to say scandalous – in the worst. We are talking of a Cardinal of whom a lifelong homosexual attraction has just been revealed, causing a great scandal and loss of prestige for the Church in Scotland. How near you would prefer to have your homosexual “lifelong friend” is utterly and completely irrelevant.
The Church doesn’t want the Cardinal to live in an isolated cottage, in Scotland of all places, because it is simply not fitting, and actually scandalous, that he does. To whom the cottage belongs is neither here nor there. The Church can order every clergyman to leave wherever they want him to live, period, and it is for no prospective “landlord friend” to challenge this. The Cardinal can, of course. I very much doubt he will.
This a “lifelong friend” of the Cardinal.
Perhaps it would be good practice to get information about one’s “lifelong friends” before considering one for a red hat. Who knows how many painful mistakes might be thus avoided.
In the matter of Cardinal O’Brien, Father Ray Blake does me the great honour of a mention, and actually of an entire blog post in answer to questions I had posed in a previous blog post of mine. His answers are, I must say, very interesting, and I will therefore report them here together with some short – as far as I can ever do “short” – observations of mine.
I had posed the question: “Is it probable that no one had noticed?” , to which he answers, inter alia, as follows:
“The great problem of the clergy, is that we tend to be naive about both scandal and sex.”
“We tend to be guarded about calumny, even calumnious thought. Especially today when we clergy live solitary lives, it is more than likely we are completely in the dark about what a priest is doing in the parish next door and even more so what our bishop is up to…”
I found the answer consoling. I had already stated that “innocence is slow in discovering filth”, and it seems to me Father Blake beautifully repeats the concept. This also tells us, though, that the homosexual wolves will have an easy game in not being discovered, or exposed, by the innocent and honest people they have around them. If I reason correctly, this means the homosexual predator will be able to carefully study his own environment and decide when and whom to attack, in the reasonable certainty that even if things were to go massively wrong (seen from his perspective) the probability of getting away with it will be high.
to the question “Is it possible no one ever sent notes and warnings to his superiors?” the following consideration (again, inter alia) are added:
“There is no mechanism for reporting suspicions to superiors, and certainly not if one’s suspicion is about a bishop”. [..]
“Until the appointment of Archbishop Memini there was always the feeling that his predecessors were both unlikely to forward ones concerns to Rome and were more than likely to copy any letter to the Bishop concerned”.
This I found rather disquieting. In my innocence, I always thought a carefully worded anonymous letter would awaken the interest of some vigilant chap at the Congregation for the Clergy, whose role is – I have always thought – exactly to react to situations which would require an anonymous letter. Of course, no one expects the Spanish inquisition, but that Rome does not have a structure able and willing to cope with friendly advice is very sad indeed. It means, among other things, that a bishop only needs the friendship or gratitude of the nuncio to be fairly sure of impunity. This, in turn, will allow him to fish in his own pond for the homosexual fishes undisturbed. One starts to understand how situations like “Miami Vice” can happen.
3. To the question : “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” the following reflection is added:
As far as complaints made to bishops or other superiors they are unlikely to act on mere suspicion or rumour. Sexual crimes especially always tend to happen in private, and there tends to be little evidence, and generally it is one persons word against another and without evidence their must be a presumption of innocence.
Again, an alarming picture emerges. There is, in modern parlance, an awful lack of proper governance mechanisms, and non-existence of proper codes of conduct like they exist everywhere else (say: to whom one may complain or denounce a criminal offence; who examines the complaint/denunciation; how the whistleblowers are protected, and the like).
It seems to me that a system is in place in which many do not even see the evil (good for them, I add); those who get in touch with the evil are basically left alone, as they do not have any serious interlocutor (the nuncio can’t be trusted; the bishop is obviously extremely dangerous) and Rome is far away and, in substance, uninterested or too busy. The reticence, which I find excessive, to act on rumours (not with condemnations, of course; but with carefully conducted investigations) might well do the rest.
This situation also is in stark contrast with what happens to the poor priest, who can be suspended from his functions and/or stipend at the first totally unproved allegation made by some boy or mother; suspension leading, as we all know, to a substantial reputational damage even when the poor priest is, in the end, acquitted (last time I looked, 90% of the cases?). Granted, in this case the accusers have a name; but the difference is striking.
In modern organisations, the importance of whistleblowing as a way to encourage and enforce proper behaviour has been long – and rightly so – acknowledged. Many blogs exist who are dedicated to whistleblowing, and whose existence is one of the main reasons anonymous blogging is not only allowed, but positively protected in all Western democracies. Anonymity isn’t bad per se, and well-trained people are very good at recognising what is probably private revenge from what is probably useful denunciation of authentic criminal behaviour.
I am told the Latin Inquisition had post boxes (in Rome and, I suppose, elsewhere) where everyone could put anonymous letters about heretics and the like. Every lead was followed. I am sure most leads… led to nothing, but the system seems to me more accurate, more protective of the sheep and the priests, and in general fairer than what happens today.
I hope the next Pope will dedicate great time and energy to these issues. Without proper rules of governance, the danger of further “Miami Vice” will always be present; particularly so, as we are afflicted by the disgraceful generation of guitars and tambourines priests, now elevated to purple and red.
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.
I have not written anything about the O’Brien “inappropriate conduct” thing, because it seemed to me there was much of allegation and private revenge, and you never know…
This evening I read the following statement from the Cardinal:
“I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.
Basically, the man was on the wrong job for his entire career.
Now, one can only praise the intellectual honesty of the Cardinal for having the guts to attack homosexuals behaviour whilst being afflicted by homosexual tendencies; but for heaven’s sake, why does a man like that decide to become priest?
I always had an ambivalent attitude towards O’Brien, as he was conservative in his moral outlook, but not concerning the liturgy. He had, though, definitely fallen from grace (at least in this blog) after his extremely stupid interview about priests who might find it fine to have the option to marry (to marry as priests, he meant; not to be ordained priests after they married).
It is good that such scandals happen. It is good that the Church wakes up to the filth infiltrating her up to almost the very top, and another fruit of the immense tragedy called Vatican II, which cause a number of homosexuals to be admitted in seminaries, with the consequences we see today. O’Brien was born in 1938 and might have been there before Vatican II, though; still, it is clear V II made things much, much worse.
I am curious to know how many in the higher echelons knew, and did nothing.
I am also curious to see now what Stonewall will say.
They gave him the prize “bigot of the year”.
Turns out he was one of them.
The most remarkable trait of V II prelates seems to be that very few of them manage to know Catholic teaching with the same level of expertise of, say, a thirteen-year-old boy circa 1953.
The last one to make an ass of himself is Cardinal O’Brien.
His words according to the above mentioned “Homograph”:
“In my time there was no choice and you didn’t really consider it too much, it was part of being a priest. When I was a young boy, the priest didn’t get married and that was it.
“I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married.
“It is a free world and I realise that many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy as they lived out their priesthood and felt the need of a companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and
raise a family of their own.”
Yours truly, who was never married and – sinner as he is, of course – never found it so difficult to cope with celibacy (particularly after seeing some of those who are married; but that’s another matter entirely…), is rather stunned at these affirmations for the following reasons:
1) Last time I looked, it was de fide that a priest cannot marry. One can become priest when he is already married (look at the Anglican converts: for the Church they are no priests, and therefore they can become priests whilst being previously married) but no one can marry after he has become a priest. One of us two is wrong, then, and I think it’s the one with the funny hat…
2) “It is a free world”. What on earth does this mean. Freedom isn’t anarchy or licence; celibacy isn’t more or less difficult under Cameron than under Mussolini; I do not know of many contemporary priests forced to take orders in a dictatorship and now finding it difficult to cope with celibacy because there is freedom.
3) “In my time there was no choice”. Well neither there is now, actually.
4) “You didn’t really consider it too much”. What? The man took a solemn vow of celibacy and now he tells us that was something one just didn’t think about? And then they say today’s youth is irresponsible? Who made this man Cardinal? (Answer: John Paul II…).
5) “companion etc”. Look, I though that a priest was married to the Church? That the celibacy is what allow himself to be completely dedicated to his life of service without having extremely time-consuming (and emotionally exacting) distractions like, erm, “a woman to whom they could get married and raise a family of their own”? That this dedication and self-sacrifice is exactly was makes the priest respected in his community, and trusted to care for Christ and for his sheep above all else? Am I wrong?
6) “found it difficult to cope with celibacy aas they lived out their priesthood”. Oh for heaven’s sake. Are we talking of men or children? You make choices like a man, you carry on with your life and the choices you have made like a man. Can a soldier say “I am tired of Afghanistan”?
7) “I would be very happy etc..”. Dear Cardinal, the opportunity is already there. Either one wants to become a priest, and then he cannot marry. Or he wants to marry, and then he cannot become a priest. A priest can never, could never, will never “have the opportunity of considering”. Once a celibate priest, always a celibate priest and no, the “free world” is nothing to do with it.
In this very matter, it is refreshing to read that a couple of very good priest bloggers have become rather impatient with the Cardinal’s remark. I understand them very well, then the Cardinal lets all celibate priests look like people who didn’t really think about it, have no clear idea why they are celibate, and should well reflect a bit whether to have the “opportunity to consider” wouldn’t be a fine thing indeed.
For one, Father Ray Blake has a rather explicit post on the matter. Among the commentators, EF Pastor Emeritus – another excellent priest and blogger – is no less explicit. Third is Father Hunwicke, a convert from the Anglicans (and therefore, crucially, not a priest when he married), who says it very beautifully with the words: “Wherever did the Cardinal, whom I greatly respect, get the idea that priests like me are allowed to make up our own mind about getting married?”
Interesting question, actually.
Wherever? If you ask me, from the madness called Vatican II, that wanting to “renew” everything ends up wanting to demolish, sooner or later, everything. That’s where.
The pervert organisation “Stonewall” has honoured Cardinal O’Brien with the “Bigot of the Year” award, as EF Pastor Emeritus reports.
I invite all right-thinking readers of this blog to join me in my congratulations to the Cardinal for this well-deserved achievement. I cannot imagine a more telling evidence of his Christian spirit, and will to fight the good fight in the face of perverted bigotry.
His Grace will be proud, no doubt.
Perhaps the day will come when even simple bloggers – like yours truly – will be able to aspire to such high honours. For the moment, the prize seems to be the monopoly of high-profile figures. I also hope that in the coming years, Catholic personalities will monopolise this prize.
Well done, Your Grace! Your colleague Vincent “Quisling” Nichols certainly does not run any risk of winning such an award!
Keep them coming, Stonewall!
Cardinal Dolan invites his own (official) enemy to speak at a dinner meant to collect money against… him.
Cardinal O’Brien even refuses to meet his own chief of government, who has invited him to “talk” about “sodomarriage”.
I know only one of the two can be right.
I wonder who? Hhhmmm…
Cardinal O’Brien is the Head of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. Being a Cardinal whilst Nichols still isn’t (though I do not doubt he will soon get his red hat, no matter how shameless he is; he knows that too, by the way) he is the most senior cleric active in the United Kingdom.
Now, this very same Cardinal has fired with rather powerful cannons at the degenerate proposals of our Friends of the Perverts, the Prime Minister Dave “Chameleon” Cameron, to redefine marriage to suit the needs of a minority of perverts, and make himself beautiful with that part of the population become insensitive to the same concept of perversion (“orientation” is the word they use).
You can read the article here and I do suggest you click the link and take the time. I will limit myself to some short comments:
1) Boy, this is strong tobacco. I had complained only yesterday the post Vatican-II clergy can’t speak plainly anymore, and the Cardinal shows me I am wrong the very same day. The tone is more than severe, it is outright harsh: the cry of “madness”, the accusation of the government to want to “redefine reality”, the warning that the measure would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world” are all meant to show what a cretin the Prime Minster is. His Grace can’t say that in so many words of course,but the meaning is clear. Try this:
Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave”. Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?
(I’m sure Nichols would be “nuanced” on that. But you knew it already…).
2) The Cardinal makes very clear how stupid it is to give the perverts one hand, hoping they will not want to take the entire arm. Try this (emphases mine):
Civil partnerships have been in place for several years now, allowing same-sex couples to register their relationship and enjoy a variety of legal protections.
When these arrangements were introduced, supporters were at pains to point out that they didn’t want marriage, accepting that marriage had only ever meant the legal union of a man and a woman.
Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too. We were accused of scaremongering then, yet exactly such demands are upon us now.
This is the usual modus operandi of the sensitive Nazi: the demolition of Christian society one piece at a time, promising every time this is the last one.
Note when the Cardinal says “Those of us who were not in favour” he clearly implies some of the bishops were in favour. We know who they were (and are), and I think the Cardinal wants us to take notice some of the bishop naively (to say the least) tried to defend the measures, and receive now the bill of their (to say the least) naiveté.
3) An intervention of such tenor from a Scottish prelate in an English matter is an open indictment to Archbishop Nichols: it is obvious O’Brien had to intervene with energy, because Nichols won’t. The cowardice, nay, complicity of Nichols in what the Government is trying to do is exposed the more openly by the harshness of Cardinal O’Brien’s words. Of course, I do not doubt Nichols is not against emitting some vague rumour about his disapproval of the proposed measures. He simply has to. But really, he can’t fool anyone anymore.
Nichols is a shame and a daily scandal. His complicity with Cameron and the homosexual Mafia is beyond disgusting. He is the worst enemy of Catholicism in this country, then if we had a Catholic at his place a first-class coward like Cameron would not even dare to think about homo-marriages.
Please click the link and read the entire interview. It is a pleasure to read a British prelate show some teeth. And please pray we can be freed of Nichols one day, and never too soon.