March 3 | comments icon 14 COMMENTS     print icon print


Statement from Liz Leydon, SCO editor

Reaction to Cardinal Keith O'Brien retiring from the public life of the Church in Scotland

“The Scottish Catholic Observer would like to thank Cardinal Keith O’Brien for his leadership, and courageous action today in apologising and retiring from the public life of the Church in light of recent investigations into misconduct allegations. I once again offer my prayers and support to everyone affected by the situation and the news.”

Liz Leydon
Editor, Scottish Catholic Observer

Comments - 14 Responses

  1. Andrew Walker says:

    It is now a time for quiet reflection and prayerful support for all involved in this belated disclosure. An inescapable fundamental truth of our faith is sin, followed by repentance and forgiveness. The now retired Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI provided leadership in this regard when his own office privacy was breached. The “Our Father” has four final petitions: “give us … lead us … forgive us … deliver us”. (As we read in our excellent wee “Doorway to Faith” booklet, Day 142, Mon 4th March). Let us all continue to pray as we approach our Easter celebrations.

  2. Brendan Copley says:

    As an ordinary Christian I would like to thank the four men, three priests and one ex-priest for their courageous action in highlighting the hypocrisy in the leadership of the Scottish Roman Catholic Church. I shall keep everyone affected by the situation and the news (including Cardinal O`Brien) in my prayers.

    • hugh davey says:

      Brendan I would ask where is the hypocrisy.?
      if the Cardinal has repented and mended his ways I feel sure he will have done this many times since the 80s .We should pray for all affected by this situation.We should also pray for all those who would gladly see the church suffer .HE THAT IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE and they all walked away.I am not refering to you now,but I believe its an ideal time for those who want to bash the church and clergy including the Cardinal,all this tongue wagging does nothing for the FAITH in the many are out to judhe the church…….judge not less you be judged……….Ihanks for your prayers you are in mlne also…Maybe a prayer to ST BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR would be rightat this time to guide us out of stormy waters

  3. Michael Dolan says:

    Well said, Andrew.

    The ‘ Walk with Me ‘ Lenten Journey booklet is very good too – and a little shorter !

  4. Pauline cormack says:

    I find it incredible that men who administer the sacrament of penance could expose anyone’s sin in such a destructive fashion. It would be important to know what part they played in these events. Presuming these men were adults at the time it puts a different complexion on the whole affair. It would seem to me that these priests seeking public humiliation of a sinner are deeply misguided. Did Christ not show the path when he restored Peter after his denials and say to him before his passion that when he had recovered he should confirm his brothers in the faith

    • Maria Dorrian says:

      Pauline, I agree with you entirely! What I would like someone to explain to me (because I’ve obviously missed something important) is WHY did these people (described by some as ‘holy men’) think it was imperative to prevent Cardinal O’Brien from going to this Conclave, but they obviously judged it ‘permissable’ in their eyes for him to go to the previous one eight years ago? WHAT would have been their next move if Cardinal O’Brien had been elected Pope? Surely if they feel so strongly to come out now then they should have been prevented from attending that Conclave, from being appointed a Bishop, from being appointed a Cardinal? Yet they wait until he is 75 years old and not in the best of health.

      I did wonder over the past two weeks when the ‘C’ word would be introduced. Yes – Compensation, an easy way to make money.I refer to the report about the priest now in London unless those in Scotland also seek their reward. £50,000 for a “grope” – I wonder how much they’d charge if….well, in respecting your readers I won’t actually say it!

      I have just watched on Telepace, with emotion, the first Sunday address of Pope Francis, which has already been reported in the Mail on Sunday online:

      “In his homily, Francis spoke only five minutes, saying the core message is ‘that of mercy.’

      He said God has an unfathomable capacity to pardon, and noted that people are often harder on each other than God is towards sinners.”

      After all their years of preaching forgiveness, the Cardinal’s accusers should be apologising to their congregations for being hypocrites!

      It will, indeed, be interesting to see if the Pope’s words from this morning are put into practice in the Vatican when dealing with a 75-year-old man who has given fifty years to the Catholic Church and who has made many peoples’ lives so much better. For what I’ve seen and read from (some) Catholics in the past couple of weeks, many of them consider themselves to be more perfect than Jesus Himself!

  5. Andrew Walker says:

    Thank you Michael for your response, and Brendan too in your commitment to prayer. The Holy Spirit works in wonderful and mysterious ways! Reading the “Magnificat” last night, I was moved by this prayer: “May the God of all grace who called us to eternal glory in Christ see that all is well again: may he confirm, strengthen and support us. Amen.” In this Year of Faith our faith will shine through, if we remain faithful to the scriptures.

  6. The arrogance of senior clergy is one thing, now we have “leading ” Scottish catholics. Just who do they think they are leading? What is their agenda? Puffed up little people, please just be quiet, particularly at this very difficult time.
    You do not lead anyone.

  7. Andrew Walker says:

    Graeme, you are clearly very, very angry and upset…understandably so … but please don’t generalise from the particular. Leadership in the Church at all levels is essential, and the announcement of the next Pope will confirm this. Leadership inplies followership. Let us all “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly in the footsteps of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ.” Our spiritual leaders require our prayerful support at this difficult time. God’s grace, love and mercy will see all of us through this crisis.

  8. How I agree with what Pauline Cormack says. Like many Catholics I have suffered agonies over these revelations of serious accusations against Cardinal O’Brien. I only met him once, but I was at the Bishops’ National Conference on 1st December last, and I heard him speaking about the need for silent prayer, which impressed me very much.

    I am quite sure that the Cardinal must have confessed these failures and received absolution, so like Pauline, I do not understand how ministers of that wondrous sacrament could ‘bring all hell’ down upon a man who has served the priesthood so well in many ways.

    The fact that I have met Catherine Deveney, who published these revelations, has increased my sorrow over the affair. To my mind as a practising Catholic, I feel she should have left the matter in the hands of the Vatican, and not thrown the Church, which after all is not just a human institution but the Body of Christ, into a hostile secular media, which has resented in particular the Cardinal’s stance against same sex ‘marriage’.

  9. Ian Collins says:

    Shame on you Liz Leydon for such a sychophantic response. Cardinal O’Brien showed neither courage or leadership in the manner of his resignation. He lied in the denying the allegations and threatened legal action against the Observer for relvealing truthful allegations. He has betrayed the trust of the Catholic community and abused his power over decades. The men who showed courage were those who with stood ecclesiastical pressure to keep silent and not to break ranks. Thank God some of our priests have the integrity not to collude with the abuse of power.

  10. Andrew Walker,
    perhaps I was not clear when I said “leading” Scottish Catholics. I was, to clarify, referring to lay people who are being referred to as “leading” Catholics, putting their
    own agendas forward.
    I hope that is clear.

  11. Jim Monan says:

    It’s not surprising that the church has got away with this for so long reading some of these comments! The church is only changing now because of brave individuals who have been prepared to take a stance against this institution which in its arrogance deems itself above the law! Only by challenging can we make change not by sitting back like sheep doing nothing!

  12. Andrew Walker says:

    Jim – The Catholic Church has robust and clear procedures in place for any allegation of abuse to be referred to the police for investigation. This is a zero tolerance approach, and is right and proper. Is this arrogant and above the law? I think not. There is no suggestion that I’m aware of in the “inappropriate” actions of Cardinal O’Brien of any offence(s) being committed, although abuse of power and status has quite properly led to his resignation.

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