Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vatican under fire as disgraced anti-gay cleric quits as cardinal

Pope Francis came under fire on Friday after accepting the de facto resignation of a British cardinal disgraced in a sex scandal without any follow-up on the allegations against him.

A statement from the Vatican said Francis had accepted British former archbishop Keith O’Brien’s resignation of the rights and privileges of a cardinal in a highly unusual move for which the last precedent dates from 1927.
It came two years after O’Brien stepped down as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, having admitted inappropriate sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s.
At the time of his resignation, O’Brien was the most senior Catholic churchman in Britain and an outspoken critic of homosexuality — which he described as a “moral degradation” — and gay marriage.
Pope Francis on Sunday joined forces with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew I to make a rare joint pledge of support for the embattled Christians of the Middle East. On the final day of his first visit to Turkey, Francis also urged an end to the millennium-old schism between the Orthodox and Catholic churches and said this was all the more urgent due to the violence against Christians by Islamic State (IS) extremists.
He was exposed as a hypocrite when several priests who had been in his charge, one of whom had left the priesthood, came forward with testimony that he had made unwanted sexual advances to them, often after late night drinking sessions.
In a statement, the Vatican said the resignation had been presented “after a long period of prayer” — a formulation which means the matter was dealt with by the pope personally, without reference to an internal church court.
“With this provision, His Holiness would like to manifest his pastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church in Scotland and to encourage them to continue with hope the path of renewal and reconciliation,” the statement added.
SNAP, a global campaign group on the issue of clerical sex abuse which counts many victims among its activists, said the pope’s handling of the issue was tantamount to a cover up.
“As it has done with dozens of abusive prelates, the Vatican is disclosing nothing about O’Brien’s wrongdoing,” SNAP spokeswoman Barbara Dorris said.
“There’s no transparency here. Not one Catholic official has disclosed anything of substance about O’Brien’s misdeeds.
“And what of his clerical colleagues? Not one of them knew of or suspected that O’Brien was abusing others?”

1 comment :

  1. Oh really. ...interesting