Saturday, March 23, 2013

O'Brien's departure: yet another Cover-Up

Cardinal Keith O'Brien's admission in his statement on 3 March following his hasty departure from office raises many more questions about his conduct than it answers. In it he wrote:

'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.'

Is he referring to the unwanted sexual advances he is accused of making to four priests and a seminarian that are now in the public domain? Has he made sexual advances to other young priests and seminarians? Is it habitual behaviour that has continued right up to the present day? If so how did it affect his governance of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh?

Straightforward gay relationships are one thing - though of course a violation of the vow of celibacy - but a spiritual director or archbishop making passes at a seminarian and young priests is quite another. In the context of the Church's guidance on safeguarding, a seminarian is considered a vulnerable adult if his spiritual director behaves inappropriately towards him.


The Tablet

Elena Curti

8 March 2013