Another disgrace for the Catholic Church. PETER FROST has the story
Three Catholic priests and an ex-priest have reported the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain, cardinal Keith O’Brien, to the Vatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back more than three decades according to a report in the Observer at the weekend.
The four have sent their complaints to the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain, and demanded the cardinal’s immediate resignation. A spokesman for the cardinal said that the claims were contested.
The cardinal has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights, branding homosexuality as immoral, trying to ban gay adoption, and most recently condemning same-sex marriages.
No wonder the gay rights charity Stonewall made Cardinal O’Brien Bigot of the Year – 2012.
The complaints were delivered just before Pope Benedict’s resignation prompting speculation that this might have been one of the reason’s for the Pope’s unexpected action.
O’Brien is Britain’s only Cardinal with a vote in the papal elections. The complainants argue that if he travels to the forthcoming papal conclave the church and the new Pope will not fully address their complaints.
“It tends to cover up and protect the system at all costs,” said one of the men making the complaint.
The first allegation against the cardinal appears to date back over thirty years. O’Brien then working at a seminary made an inappropriate approach to a student priest after night prayers.
A second Priest describes being happily settled in a parish when he claims he was visited by O’Brien and inappropriate contact between the two took place.
In a third statement, a then young, priest claims he was invited to spend a week “getting to know” O’Brien at the archbishop’s residence. He alleges unwanted behaviour by the cardinal after a late-night drinking session.
Another young priest being counselled by O’Brien over personal problems claims that O’Brien used night prayers as an excuse for inappropriate contact.
Cardinal O’Brien who is due to retire shortly has denied the accusations.
He failed to appear to celebrate his normal Mass last Sunday prompting speculation about his future.
Was this the Vatican scandal that made the Pope resign?
The Vatican has always been wracked with scandals, financial, sexual and political. Now the Italian media is suggesting one particularly juicy example is at the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise decision to resign.
The Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, has revealed that high-ranking actively homosexual Vatican clerics were being blackmailed.
The day the Pope decided to resign, December 17, Benedict was handed a file of documents from three Cardinals, appointed to probe the Vatican Vatileaks scandal.
It appears to have started with the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele. Who was convicted of stealing private documents from the Pope and selling them to the highest bidder.
The stolen papers, many of them the Pope’s private letters, showed the Vatican as a hotspot of factional squabbling and intrigue.
The papers also made it clear that gay Vatican clerics were susceptible to blackmail. The Vatican it seemed has a gay clergy network, which enjoys sexual encounters in villas and saunas in Rome and even in the Vatican itself.
Three senior Cardinals appointed by the Pope have prepared a 300 page dossier spelling it out.
The dossier describes a number of warring Vatican groupings, with one powerful Vatican group being made up of sexually active homosexual clergy.
Poor Pope Benedict XVI took one look at the contents of the dossier and decided he should go and leave this particular problem, and a good few others, for his successor at the top of the Church of Rome.
First published in the Morning Star, 2013