Cardinal O’Brien Under Fire Again…

Vatican Launches Fresh Investigation:  Cardinal O'Brien In The Spotlight Again...

POPE Francis has ordered a bishop with experience investigating abuse cases to visit Scotland next week to hear allegations of sexual misconduct made against disgraced former Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Charles Scicluna, from Malta, will meet priests who have been asked to come forward by Archbishop Leo Cushley, Cardinal O’Brien’s successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

“I believe that this is a positive step towards truth and eventual reconciliation,” said Archbishop Cushley in a statement yesterday, adding, “This may not be an easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.” Click on photo to read entire report.

Comment

Since the Cardinal is now retired, and not living in Scotland, and since the allegations relate to sexual behaviour involving adults, not children – priests/former seminarian with the ability to send him and his advances packing – I’m struggling to get a handle on this. What is going on? Revenge? I’ve never been a fan of the Cardinal – I’ve been his most vociferous critic, in fact, but he’s gone now. It’s done. What on earth is the point of this latest “investigation” ? What do they want (these anonymous accusers) –  blood?

54 responses

  1. But will us pew Catholics ever know the outcome? It was only a leaked letter that gave the game away. Damien Thomson in Telegraph Religious blogs gives the link (I don’t know how to do a link on this new gadget I’m using.). The letter apparently doesn’t mention O’Brien, which is odd. So who is being investigated? The anonymous accusers? Whatever conclusions are reached, we probably will not be told.

    • Pew Catholic,

      I agree. This whole shenanigans is getting to be more of a mystery than the missing Malaysian airplane.

      Already, for example, the anonymous accusers are sending out signals that they may not speak to the Vatican investigator. One minute they demand “justice” (when they should be squirming with embarrassment that they weren’t man enough to say “no thanks” when the Cardinal propositioned them or whatever he’s supposed to have done in the first place) and now they seemingly object (via their pal the journalist who broke the story, whose surname I can’t remember how to spell and can’t be bothered looking it up) to the fact that they have to notify the Vicar General if they wish to speak to the Vatican investigator. You can almost hear them crying for their mammy, can’t you?

      So, not only didn’t they have sufficient communication skills to tell the Cardinal what to do with his obnoxious advances, but even now they lack the simple communication skills required to find a credible and legitimate reason to wish to speak with the investigating bishop in private, without divulging any reason. Anyone could have information to pass on – although, in my view, the fact that they are determined to hide behind a cloak of anonymity is enough to dismiss their demands for further action. They’ve had their pound of flesh, Time to get on with whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing with their time and parishioners’ money.

      • Editor

        The correct spelling, I think anyway, is Devaney.

        Or is it Devany?

        No, I’m certain it’s Devanney.

        Or was she French – De Vanity?

        Ach! Who cares?

        As for the communication skills to be used on people who offer unsolicited advances: an elbow or the side of the hand should suffice.
        Failing that, a pair of winklepickers would come in handy.

  2. I am very sure that we don’t know the half of it regarding Card. O’Brien and his wee gang of pals who changed this arch-diocese out of all recognition.
    I am equally sure that there is far more to the behaviour of these clergy in the then seminaries.
    Almighty God help Scotland. Amen

    • Agreed, Graeme. The fact that these priests are determined to keep their names out of the public eye, is about as fishy as a truckload of tuna, in my opinion.

      The chances are they’re homosexuals who should never have been ordained in the first place, which ties in with your perfectly justifiable suspicions about their likely behaviour in the seminaries. I doubt very much if any of the names of these accusers would come as any surprise to regular readers of Catholic Truth. Be that as it may, the fact is, as long as they remain anonymous, they’ll get absolutely zilch sympathy from moi. Me, too…

      • I fail to see Ed, what persecuting Cardinal O’Brien could ever achieve. I believe the gutless Priests and ex-Priest who accused him, but didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to name themselves, should also be struck off, as it were, because if they are homosexuals, they should never, as you said, have been ordained in the first place. O’Brien can’t be imprisoned by the civil law, as homosexual actions, as repulsive as they may be, are legal. I do not believe how O’Brien could ‘force’ himself on any grown man. If a man ‘came on’ to me, or made any other sexual advance, my fist would very soon be part of his face. He would be picking his teeth up. I don’t swallow how he ‘used his position’ nonsense. I wouldn’t care if it was the Holy Roman Emperor(if there was one extant) coming on to me, I’d bring him down to peasant level. These hidden Priests must have been willing partners. Either they were active participants, who ‘enjoyed’ it as much as O’Brien did, or they did it in order to further themselves. They must have wanted it. I would never have a sexual relationship against my will- aside from the fact I’m 6ft 4 and 17 stone so you would have a job trying it on. Have these Priests ever heard of forgiveness? It’s in the Bible!!! O’Brien is going to become a scapegoat for those who want to end mandatory celibacy. Those people are shameless, as they know celibate Priests are God’s will. You can’t take God’s word to all the ends of the Earth with a wife and kids in tow, and nor can you minister to your flock, when you are occupied with looking after your wife and kids. What should happen to O’Brien is that he should be stripped of his church titles, as Bl. John Paul II did with Hans Hermann Groer of Vienna, and send him to a monastery to live a life of penance. What more do these faceless jackals and hyenas want?

  3. Editor,
    there was also the well publicised event in Rome after Card. O’Brien had received his red hat from the pope. When the Card. sexually assaulted a clergyman during a party. Who was there, what did they do about it, what action plan did they put in place etc. etc. etc.
    As I say there is clearly far more to our clergy than meets the eye. The Vatican is not sending a bishop here for nothing. We the Catholic “peasantry” do not know the half of it.

    • Graeme Taylor,

      I’m a bit confused. I don’t know whether the bishop is being sent over by the Vatican because the accusers want another investigation (or a better one) or because the Vatican/Pope wants it.

      It’s not clear from anything I’ve read. Does anyone know?

      • Probably the investigation is checking out O’Brien because Ricca has told the Pope he wants to meet him ….

      • Fidelis,
        I don’t know what came first the chicken or the egg. However, I do know that the Vatican does not appoint a bishop to come from Rome to investigate over a bit of “flirting”.

        • Voynod,

          Will take a look at your links later, but I think this investigation is more to do with the accusers insisting on having another pound of Cardinal O’Brien’s flesh, than with Freemasonry.

          Apparently they think Cardinal O’Brien “got away” with his “abuse of power” (when what really angered them was his public condemnation of same-sex marriage, at that time moving forward to the political front burner) so I suspect they’ve badgered the authorities in Rome (possibly via Archbishop Cushley) to take further action against Cardinal O’Brien.

          We’ll soon see… or maybe not !

      • Fidelis,

        I suspect it’s because “the accusers want another investigation” – as I’ve just posted in response to Voynod. I wouldn’t be surprise if they have badgered the authorities to conduct this latest investigation. And since they’re taking great care to keep their own identities secret, I tend not to trust them one little bit.

      • Many homosexual ‘courting’ rituals, as it were, would come across in normal social circles as ‘harassment’. I had the misfortune to go to a ‘gay bar’ with my parents. The guy behind the bar didn’t look ‘gay’, and it wasn’t until halfway thrugh our drink that more of them came in, calling each other ‘flower’, ‘babe’ and ‘darling’ and putting hands where civilised people wouldn’t put on themselves. We made a quick exit. But that’s first hand experience, and I cross myself whenever I (shudder to) think about it.

      • Vianney,
        it was in the national press that after receiving his hat at the feet of St Peter’s successor H.E. fondled a clergymans genitals at the Scots College in Rome during the party to celebrate his elevation to the College of Cardinals.
        My question then as now is who saw that, what did they do about it etc.
        Talk about the Borgia period, this is our modern day version – and we do not know the half of it. Lack of purity, faith and morals within many groups of “prelates” is astounding. They love the dress up. the titles and the money……….

    • Graeme, do you recall anything in the mass media from approximately 1 year ago, about an alleged Vatican “gay mafia” and linked somehow to Freemasonry within the Vatican? (by the way, I’m just an “old-timer” unused to this blogging thingy – hope I haven’t broken any rules or laws)

      Voynod

      • Voynod,
        yes and regularly up to the present. the last one I read in the Times was about the retired head of the Vatican Guard disclosing that some “prelates” were asking some junior guards for sex. It is a serious mess and no doubt about it.

      • Voynod,

        I think you are referring to the press conference the Pope held during a flight – the infamous one where he was asked about the “gay lobby” allegedly within the Vatican, and he added that there was “another lobby” meaning Freemasons. Well, since the Archbishop (Bugnini) who created the new Mass was a known Freemason, we can hardly be too surprised.

        As for being new to “this blogging thingy”- nobody would guess! You are more than welcome – we’re delighted to have you blogging with us here. You haven’t broken any rules at all, but you may find it helpful to read both the sidebar information on the right hand side of this page at the top, and our About Us section, which contains our general guidance on how to keep our blog pleasant and friendly, while encouraging forthright debate. If you need any help with anything, feel free to ask and we’ll be glad to assist.

        Welcome aboard, Voynod !

  4. If Cardinal O’Brien is a homosexual, you would think that Pope Francis would thoroughly approve, rather than have him investigated. After all, who is he to judge?

  5. I actually feel sorry for the Cardinal.

    I think he has been set up.

    He has not been charged with sexual assault, or the criminal abuse of minors by the Scottish authorities.

    I think this is all being done to appease the secular media.

    When you consider that there are much more worse characters in the college of cardinals, like +Mahony, these over the top punitive measures appear very hypocritical.

    +Mahony truly does have a lot to answer for.

    From a legal perspective, the very most O’Brian would have to face if he were a layman in a secular profession would be a complaint of sexual harassment before an employment tribunal, which is a civil not criminal matter. If that.

    And anyway, we all know there is another side to the story.

    There are tons of dodgy clerics the Vatican has decided not to investigate/punish over the years. Why is O’Brian so special.

    • I agree with you regarding him being set up. I find it very strange that they waited until he was about to attend the conclave before making the allegations.

      • Vianney

        Maybe they were afraid he would have been elected.

        If the devil has taken over anything could have happened.

    • MI

      The cardinal is special because he is not a layman.

      Can you imagine the situation if, by a diabolical miracle, he had become Pope?

      Then, as they say, the baw would have been on the slates.

    • MI
      there are many Cardinals who are Judas priests, here are some public names: Schonborn, Kasper, O’Brien. I could go on. They should be dismissed, but, sadly, in the case of the many dozens of German “prelates” their bilions of Euros keeps their “ideas” at the top of the agenda in Rome. There needs to be a mass clear out of this dross. They are a canker on the Body of Christ. Their arrogance is shocking.

    • I don’t see as to how he is being set up. Did he not admit to it? Mahony did not actually abuse people, but he helped several sick and twisted individuals who did, but he had the brass neck to go to the conclave.

  6. Card. O’Brien has been behaving in a seriously sinful manner over many years, before and after receiving his cardinals hat.
    He should have refused his consecration as Arch-bishop never mind accepting the cardinals hat.
    Enough of the “set up” already! He and his wee gang of pals have been duplicitous for many, many years. Now the gang has had a fall out and there will be more revelations to come.
    Almighty God have mercy on Scotland. Amen.

    • Graeme

      I totally agree.

      Nobody seems to care about the ordinary Catholic in the workplace who has to take the flak for people like the cardinal who, despite the alleged shortage of priests, live the life of Riley.

      I remember the cardinal, in the SCO, telling us to watch our carbon footprints
      and holiday at home (what’s a holiday?) just before heading off to China with Generalissimo Salmond for a photo shoot (for SCIAF). Their footprints in the photo were in a paddy field.

      That was when wee Eck was canvassing for the Catholic vote.

      Changed days indeed.

  7. Frankier,
    yes indeed!
    Card. O’Brien of lay people should touch the Blessed Sacrament fame.
    Card. O’Brien of the non-sense from the Gillis centre “teaching” the “ministers” about how to get the children to go paint a picture instead of staying in the Church for Mass.
    Card. O’Brien who oversaw the SCIAF management and staff having lovely fat salaries and running costs that cost more than the nationwide annual SCIAF box collections of over 600,000 pounds.
    So no, I no sense of loss at getting rid of that particular “prelate”.

  8. There must be a driven person, or persons, behind this investigation. There is someone who will not let this go: a man obsessed with doing even more to Cardinal O’Brien than has already been done.
    I believe the homosexual element is not confined to these men who were involved with the Cardinal.
    I say again that the damage done to the Cardinal’s diocese, and to Scotland, was pernicious and widespread as the cancer was fed, not only by those involved, but all those ” in the know” which gave a wide group of duplicitous priests impunity to act as they wished.
    They did what they liked and any who questioned them were bullied and side lined.
    So the abuse has many aspects to it.The Cardinal has n been responsible for all of it.
    Having said that, if people have grievances, and have conviction and truth in their hearts, then they should be prepared to come forward and be named.
    I wonder if others from other dioceses are free to complain too.
    What is it the complainants are not too happy about? I read somewhere that one had said he was glad something was being seen to be done.

    • Spero,

      There is a homosexual network working under the noses of the Scots Bishops. Or so one of their number – Father Gordon Brown of Edinburgh – told the Daily Mail in a report featured on their front page on 23 January, 2000.

      The fact that they seem determined to destroy the Cardinal ostensibly due to his abuse of his position within the Church (which I don’t, never have and never will, buy) does beg the question – why?

      The fact that journalists (including, incidentally, Herald journalists – The Herald was quick to point out in one of their reports early on that they knew the identity of the accusers but chose not to publish …. er…. why not? Isn’t “scoops” what journalists normally DO? So we can be sure of one thing: these accusers are not fully believing, traditional Catholic priests.) But, as I was saying – the fact that journalists are protecting the identities of these accusers speaks volumes. We know that they are not good, sound priests.

      And the fact that they knew to contact Catherine Whatshername, to cry on her shoulder and get published in the Observer, means that she’s worthy of investigating as well. Maybe she has an axe to grind? A relative who is homosexual, perhaps? Feels “marginalised” in and by “the Church”?

      Gimme strength. If I ever win the lottery, I’ll be setting detectives on all the likely suspects. Until then…. leaks please. Fast and furious!

      And as for your concluding remarks about the accuser who is “glad something is being done” – what on earth does he WANT to be “done”? The Cardinal is gone. He’s retired. Apart from, as someone has already suggested, stripping him of his title etc. (fine by me) there’s not a lot that CAN be done.

      If only the Vatican had ordered an investigation into the Archdiocese of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh (and all other Scottish dioceses) on reading our newsletter reports over the years, all of this scandal might have been avoided. Instead, as we were reliably informed at the time, all that happened was the equivalent of a rap on episcopal knuckles during Ad Limina visits. We really did try to warn the Vatican authorities, so they might reflect now on the fact that we’ve been proved right not only in the case of the Cardinal but in the case of just about every priest / bishop who has featured in our reports over the years. Will they never learn? The apparent instinct to prevent scandal invariably leads to more scandal as cover-up compounds the original “crime”.

      Finally,

      Clean Up or Clear Out the Clergy…

      They need someone in the Vatican to head a think tank to gather ideas on how to clean up or clear out the clergy – a highly intelligent, slim, glamorous, fashionable, witty lady (albeit with great humility) would do the trick. Can anyone think of a suitable candidate? 😀

  9. And when are they going to get round to investigating Motherwell? Allegations galore, and only the whistle-blower is punished. And not even a full-time bishop overseeing it.

    But the laity won’t get to know about that either. Anything we learn will be from the Herald or the BBC.

    If the Vatican and the Scottish hierarchy want the loyalty of us pew Catholics, they should be much, much more open with us.

    • Pew Catholic,

      I won’t be learning anything from The Herald – this morning I notified the gentleman who brings me copies of their articles to please stop doing so (on hearing about Julie McDowall’s savage “TV review” he said it wasn’t in the print copy so he’d missed it.) I’m also unsubscribing from their daily news bulletins and will never submit another letter to them for publication EVER unless I discover that they owe me the right of reply to any personal attack. Then, I’ll certainly demand my right to reply before disappearing again. I have completely lost any respect I had for The Herald, including their heavily censored blogs.

      In the past, when I’ve submitted letters to The Scotsman, they mostly got published, so I will test the waters there again, and if the same censorship holds sway, I’ll shake the dust off there as well.

      And note, this is why the internet is so crucially important – and why the powers-that-be would like to make it unavailable to the hoi polloi. We ought to make every use of it while we still may because it is my considered view that it won’t be long until it is inaccessible to us and we are completely silenced.

      PS – I agree about Motherwell, that it is painfully obvious that the only person being investigated there, appears to be the “whistleblower”, Fr Despard. It’s just not good enough.

  10. The cardinal is gone now. So why are you hounding the man by even opening a thread on his past deeds. Why not do us all a favour and let the matter drop completely. Leave it to the competent authorities to deal with the fallout, (that by the way is not catholic(un)truth or any of its bloggers). Drop the subject once and for all!!!!!

    • Chasdom,

      Have you submitted a comment at The Herald blog to complain about the anti-Catholic “TV review” by Julie McDowall? No? How did I know that?

  11. Chasdom,
    i think you will find the subject has only just begun. When the Vatican’s appointed bishop files his report, well just wait and see.
    There is no hounding, just unfolding of all the lies we have been told since the eighties…….

  12. Chasdom

    Do you know that the human race couldn’t survive without bees? So please take great care of the ones in your bonnet.

  13. Chasdom
    It is not those on the Catholic Truth blog who are hounding the Cardinal: though I can assure you there may be reason on the part of one, or some, to do just that. But any bitterness has gone because he has gone.
    No, the hounding is being done by priests, do please at least acknowledge that fact.
    This blog is doing no more than countless others do, throughout the UK, the US, the world,do. I.e. Follow up on what is happening in the Catholic world
    Pope Benedict said Catholics should use the social media.
    But it does not sit comfortably in Scotland, does it? Well that is too bad ; because the internet, while having many downsides, is a means of communication which makes for uncomfortable reading and the realisation that things are definitely not as they should be!!

    • Graeme, and Spero and Frankier (love the bees in your bonnet – priceless!)

      No doubt you’ll be wondering why your comments went into moderation, so allow me to explain – and this for the benefit of everyone seeking to respond to Chasdom – or as he sometimes appears, Domchas.

      Regrettably, after many ignored warnings, I had to place both of them (!) into moderation, which means that anyone who uses either of the above usernames in reply, will automatically go into moderation as well.

      It’s not happened for a long time prior to Chasdom/Domchas’s unfortunate flouting of the very basic house rules (and I’ve more than once taken him out of moderation only to find the same contempt for our simple guidelines, so he’s back in now until he pleads for yet another chance and accepts the house rules like everyone else) but when someone is in the doghouse/moderation queue, it’s always a good idea to create another form of address. Now, now… I didn’t mean that…

      I suggest you respond, if you choose to reply to his posts, by using that part of his name common to both incarnations – CHAS.

      That way your replies will go straight online, without moi having to release them from moderation.

      Am I clever or what? Say nothing, Chas…

      Spero,

      Thanks for your supportive comment, but may I just clarify that none of us ever felt or feels “bitterness” – even at the height of our reporting of scandals within the Church in Scotland and in the Archdiocese of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, there’s no bitterness. Even when we leafleted outside St Mary’s Cathedral some years ago, to offset the damage done there every year by radical feminists before the Chrism Mass, when they stood dressed as priestesses and handed out their literature; even when, that one year when a group of us met in Edinburgh to challenge them and later attended the Chrism Mass only to find that Cardinal (? Archbishop – I think) O’Brien had invited them to bring up the offertory gifts while mentioning, in his homily, a “scurrilous rag” that came through the letter box with “monotonous regularity” – even then, we felt no bitterness. Some shock still, at that stage, and immense sadness, but never bitterness.

      Among our group was one woman, a married mother of a large family, who’d only begun to realise the dire state of the Church through reading our newsletter. She was stunned at witnessing all of the above and actually got up and walked out during the Archbishop’s homily, saying “I can’t take any more of this…”

      We’ve got solid grounds and every right to be angry at the negligence through to apostasy of the clergy and hierarchy. But “bitterness” is never to be indulged for several reasons, chief of which is that it can bear no good fruit. Our justifiable (and righteous) anger should lead us to both prayer and action. Bitterness leads to despair.

      What bus is it, again, for the Erskine Bridge? 😥

  14. Editor
    With regard to bitterness I was thinking of myself and others close to me whose lives and professional lives were affected by those supported by the Cardinal in the past : not of anyone else.
    However that element of angst/ bitterness is long gone.
    It does not mean that justice should not have been meted out in this case, or indeed, in any other. We are responsible for our words and deeds.
    Mercy is a wonderful thing, but it has to be served with justice.

    • Spero, I agree I think it does look bad that the accusing priests are pursuing the cardinal and it’s because of them not being publicly known that I’m glad of this new investigation. It’s them should be investigated now. I’m hoping that their names till be out in the public domain soon. Nobody should get away with anonymous complaints that actually destroy someone. I’m no fan of the cardinal but if he’s been named and shamed so should his accusers be.

  15. I hear that this devenney woman has a brother who is homosexual and this is why she is so protective of the homosexual priests involved and that the journalist in the herald is gay as well

    • Charles,

      That wouldn’t surprise me at all – that Catherine D may have a close relative who is homosexual and thus may be bitter about the Church’s upholding of the moral law in that regard (despite the weaknesses of members, including those with high office in the Church).

      It would show some integrity, however, were she open about her (possible) bias.

    • Charles Donnelly,

      Do you have any proof about Mrs Devenney’s brother? That would be interesting to know because she’s kept that quiet enough.

  16. If the investigation is directed only at Keith O’Brien it would have a similar flavour to the way Francis seems to have decided to eradicate the Traditional Mass in the Franciscan community. That appears to have been instigated not to promote diversity but to impose one fixed formula by authoritarian decree. I hope I am wrong but it certainly appears that way and all the excuses that have been made to justify it sound very much like the prepared statements by politicians when they want to do the opposite of what they are saying. Keith O’Brien was clearly at fault but it takes two to tango and he has been publicly humiliated while his collaborators in sin have not. Has Francis determined that the other sinful parties should also be investigated? If not, it would be yet another woeful lack of judgement on his part.

  17. Charles McEwan,

    “Keith O’Brien was clearly at fault but it takes two to tango and he has been publicly humiliated while his collaborators in sin have not”

    Absolutely correct. This is not justifiable at all. Well said.

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