Monday, 4 March 2013

Even More Sad News from Edinburgh

I'm glad I was with friends when we got the new bad news. The Cardinal hasn't admitted to the allegations and, really, only the only allegations from this guy (still anonymous, still over 50) have become clearer. But the Cardinal has confessed that at times his "sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of [him] as a priest, bishop and cardinal."

That's really sad, and it's also sad that he had to make a public admission of this instead of just taking it to the confessional, like everyone else whose sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of him or her as a Catholic, according to his or her state in life.

I don't know if he ever did those things whatever-it-was to/with those priests who complained decades later, although it certainly seems more likely now. I don't know if they say he apologized to them at the time. Obviously to all today, if your spiritual director touches you inappropriately, tries to kiss you and tells you out-of-the-blue he that he loves you, he owes you an apology. And obviously if a priest makes lewd remarks to other priests, or a bishop makes lewd remarks to priests, whom he may think of as friends, but are also his subordinates, he owes them apologies. And maybe, if these things happened, Cardinal O'Brien did apologize and did go to confession. As yet we have no way of knowing. 

I mention these allegations because as personally damaging as inchastity is, it seems to me that attempting inchastity with students and subordinates is much worse than just inchastity in general, with self, friends or friendly strangers, or (maybe) prostitutes. Meanwhile, all that Cardinal O'Brien has admitted to, right now, is inchastity. 

Of course Catholics would prefer it that priests, bishops and cardinals did not commit any sexual sins whatsoever. We'd prefer it if nobody did. We'd prefer it if we didn't. But, sadly, a lot of us do.  And unless we are dragged up on the carpet because these sins happened in the context of work, we confess them to a priest in the confessional, and not to the entire world 

As for those saying that the Cardinal is a hypocrite just for having sexual sins on his conscience, they might want to remember what he said back in 2005, when he was defending the presence of gay teachers in Catholic schools: "I don't have a problem with the personal life of a person as long as they are not flaunting their sexuality." He may be a sexual sinner, but I don't think he's a hypocrite. 


Jam said...

Hypocrisy is a much over-used accusation these days; modern secular people have no concept of conversion much less continual conversion, since they don't really get sin or forgiveness either.

Seraphic said...

No, they most definitely do not get sin or forgiveness. First of all, they have a really poor grasp of what sin is, and then they don't think you should be forgiven for whatever THEY think a sin is.

Even worse, there are people who attack those who forgive. For example, there are people who get very angry at women they don't even know for staying with a husband whose infidelities have become public.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

This is very sad. I hope for healing for all of them and that whatever the Cardinal's struggles have been and are he has found healing and forgiveness in Christ. I can see that he resigned knowing what the allegations were likely to be - I hope that the pattern that seems to indicate to me has long been consigned to the confessional and ended.

Kate P said...

It truly is upsetting--I'm very sorry for what I'm sure is a tremendous loss.
When I was a teenager, my family was disappointed by bad news about a priest we admired. You always want to cry, "Say it isn't so!" We try to pray for those priests, and to thank God for the good priests we also know (who get aspersions cast on them as well!), and ask God to bless and protect them.

Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted that the accuser thinks of the offering as payment for services rendered.

""For me, this is about integrity. I thought it was best to let the men and women who put their hard-earned cash in the plate every Sunday know what has been happening. If you pay into something you have a right, but also a duty, to know what you are paying for.""