BY Liz Leydon | March 3 | comments icon 7 COMMENTS     print icon print


Cardinal O’Brien ‘will play no further part in the public life’ of the Catholic Church

'My sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me," he said.

This statement has been released today from Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

“In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.

“However, 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.

“To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness.

“To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.

“I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”


Comments - 7 Responses

  1. Gerry woods says:

    Hope Keith gets as much support as he deserves everyone alive has a skeleton in the closet or a regret in life , I’ve, met him and he’s a top man an absolute gent. Hope we can all deal with the fall out. God bless him.

  2. F Singer says:

    Everyone makes mistakes, however being gay is not a mistake or a wrong choice. I just hope he now feels what persecution feels like. God is teaching him a hard lesson. His former parishioners I feel more sorry for as he has been guiding them, and he is not what they thought.

  3. T Currie says:

    Cardinal O’Brien made a mistake. Not in the eyes of the law but in the eyes of God. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life. However, as Catholics we are taught to forgive. That’s what we should be doing and so should those priests who brought this into the public domain.
    The teachings of the Catholic church however, should not change.

  4. Jean Anne Lyden Mitchell says:

    Having made strenuous comment throughout the discussions of last week, I feel duty bound to acknowledge that my understanding of the unfolding events was wrong. This has been an unbelievably difficult week for all Catholics and especially for those who know and have highest regard for the Cardinal. Yes there is huge disappointment and bewilderment but we are all human and nobody is beyond reproach. This does not erase the excellent work that he has done nor remove our love and affection for him. He is a good man who has admitted to at times having failed to live up to his commitment and has asked for forgiveness from everyone and I pray that he will receive this.

    It is heart-breaking for all parties especially those directly involved but I find it unforgivable the way the story was broken as without a doubt it was designed not only to bring the Cardinal down without mercy but also to decimate the Catholic Church to the core. While I do not approve of historical inappropriate behaviour by the Cardinal the complainants having waited 30 years have punished all devout Catholics and what I do not understand is how they can be practising Priests preaching the Gospel and promoting forgiveness and yet could decide on this as best recourse having already begun an enquiry through Vatican channels and failed to allow that enquiry to be carried out – all – with apparent lack of regard for their faithful, celibate brother Priests and indeed all faithful Catholics that would inevitably be caught in the wake.

    I pray for The Cardinal who must now be a broken man and more-so I pray for the complainants because no matter what they believe they have achieved by their “outing The Cardinal” there is no way that this volcano will make them happier or make up for any past indiscretions. I would imagine that it has only made matters worse for them.

  5. Jo says:

    Like JALM I too have issues with how this “story” was broken and I feel very disappointed, even angry, with the priests who opted to take the media route. It was a very wrong decision in my view.

    In the midst of it all a new Scottish face arrived in the media: Ms Catherine Deveney who has rarely been off our screens since. I found Ms Deveney’s overall approach, from the first appearance by her, on Scotland Tonight, most odd. I felt this was not merely a journalist who had picked up on a story. Her tone was hostile throughout the interview towards Keith O’Brien personally and the church. Her subsequent many appearances elsewhere appear to support that view. She used the issues surrounding Cardinal O’Brien in order to highlight opposition to same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. I couldn’t see the connection personally but she has been working very hard in other interviews all week to labour her point and, dare I say, her own agenda.

    I believe that no matter how “vindicated”, according to Ms Deveney, the priests may feel their parishioners might feel quite differently if their identities were known due the manner in which they went about this matter. For the precise timing of this whole thing should not be ignored in any of it. There was a clear strategy to destroy utterly another person and a clear time selected to do it. In abandoning the investigation and going public something didn’t seem quite right to me. Once Ms Deveney hit our screens however the priests became just another another group of pawns whose initial exploitation, if that is what happened, led to further exploitation by the media.

    Ms Deveney claimed yesterday that these men took great risks. I don’t agree. I think in cases like this all parties should remain anonymous until the facts are established. These men remain anonymous still. The person who took the full force of their claims was Keith O’Brien and, I’m sorry, it seemed clear his destruction was the whole point of the exercise. I hope they are happy about that. Ms Deveney quite clearly is and seems to believe that this matter has destroyed anything the church, or any of us, might have to say on the issue of same-sex marriage and adoptions. She is not finished either. She hinted in a BBC interview last night that she has “used” only those stories she can “substantiate” but implied there are definitely others.

  6. Gary Kirk says:

    I don’t think the matter would have been dealt with properly with just going through official channels. This was the only British cardinal, elevated to such a position on the basis that he followed his vows, was a good preacher, and advocated RC teachings.

    I am not a Roman Catholic but am a firm believer in Jesus Christ and His teachings. .

    I wept when the Pope ‘retired’ and view him as a good man and genuinely holy person but fallibable on some matters before he became Pope. I was on the verge of becoming a RC but all of this hasput me off because I would be leaving one double standard to belong to another.

    Honest and repentance is the best way forward for the Church. The next Pope needs to lance the boil, and push out all of those guilty of bringing the Church into disrepute.

  7. john says:

    Actions mean more than beliefs: always have, always will.

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