Cardinal O’Brien Admits To Sexual Misconduct, Asks For Forgiveness

Cardinal Keith O'BrienThe former leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland has admitted that his sexual conduct has at times “fallen below the standards expected of me,” after accusations by several priests came to light.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was the senior most Roman Catholic official in the U.K., resigned last week under pressure from three priests and an ex-priest who alleged he had behaved inappropriately towards them in the 1980s. O’Brien had previously denied the allegations and was seeking legal advice.

In a statement released to the BBC, O’Brien apologized and asked for forgiveness to those he had “offended”:

“In recent days, certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them. However, 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.To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologize. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”

An outspoken opponent to gay marriage, O’Brien was named “Bigot of the Year” by U.K. LGBT advocacy group, Stonewall, in 2012 —  at lest he’s going out on a high note.

O’Brien’s resignation means he won’t be taking part in the conclave, the election of the next Pope. Retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, was reportedly invited by the Vatican to participate, despite his attempts to cover up sexual abuse and molestation by priests.

So it’s nice to know the papal election is being handled with the appropriate level of inappropriateness.

Photos: Wikipedia, Irish Central

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  • 2eo

    You will get no mercy here. You have abused your position and [email protected] people under your position and inflicted pain and misery on thousands.

    You will die knowing your lord hates you and everyone in the real world hates you too.

  • gaymaniac

    From the numbers of scandals involving MSM, it would seem, that the Catholic church is the ‘gay-est of them all’. In the end, the story about the gay priests network in the Vatican is going to be confirmed and that the ‘Hitler-Jugend’ Pope with face of a 3000 year old mummy, indeed resigned because he couldn’t ‘take it anymore’.

  • jason25


    Not defending this asshole but making a few ‘unwanted sexual advances’ is hardly frickin [email protected]!! If it is then I’m up for the electrical chair soon!

    If a beloved male celebrity was accused of making ‘unwanted sexual advances’ to another man, the worst he would be called is a pervert, a predator etc. But he wouldn’t be bloody called a rapist! If he was we would be all screaming homophobia.

    Yes he’s an asshole, but we can’t be saying he is a hypocrite if we call ‘unwanted sexual advances’ from one man to another ‘rape’. Kind of shooting ourselves in the foot!

  • Daniel-Reader

    Feel sorry for all the families and friends of gay kids who killed themselves while he spewed his anti-gay bigotry. He is evil.

  • alexoloughlin

    Actually, the number of priests now is 5 who have come forward, one is no longer a priest but married. According to Peter Tatchell, there are more senior catholic hierarchy leading duplicitous lives. He ought to out them. In this case, it’s more than warranted.

  • Shannon1981

    Good riddance to more bad rubbish. I really hope the scandals continue, and that this fraudulent, evil, child abusing religious cult falls completely soon.

  • Aidan8

    I, for one, am totally shocked by this! Imagine this from the Church of Rome! What next? Lunatic ravings by an evangelical pastor?

  • Cam

    And can we get the church Chorus to PLEASE REPEAT THE FOLLOWING……

    When they are anti-gay bigots, they are nearly ALWAYS SELF HATING CLOSET CASES!

  • Robert

    He states he is dropping out of public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland. I expect him to be popping up somewhere other than Scotland.

  • Matthew

    What I find so offensive is the fact that he’s totally admitting that he denied everything until there was specific proof. That’s even worse! I don’t think he should lead a happy retired life, living off the working poor who’re brainwashed enough into thinking they have to give 10% of everything they make to “God”. God, in this case, being creepy old pervs who can while away the hours for the rest of their lives without care or obligation.

  • Caliban

    The reporting on this story has been very vague, at least the articles I’ve read. It’s unclear to me whether he made “unwanted sexual advances” to adult seminarians or if he actually coerced them into sex. Of course his hypocrisy is appalling either way, but if he made “passes” at men that were rebuffed, then so what? (Unless his “passes” were sexually aggressive, like grabbing them or exposing himself to them.) If he used his position to coerce subordinates into sex that’s another thing altogether.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Every time he cashes his pension check, I hope he feels guilty. If he were really sorry, he’d give this money to the poor.

  • alexoloughlin

    @Caliban: That he may have just made passes is in direct violation of the celibacy rule, sexual misconduct. Celibacy is about leading a “chaste” life, one of the requirements for the priesthood. Unwanted sexual advances or sexual misconduct of any kind or harassment even if it doesn’t involve physical contact is a punishable offense in the UK. The fact that he’s admitted it should really mean leaving the priesthood altogether since he can’t abide by the rules. Now that he’s supporting married clergy, that’s another reason for him to get out. It’s inconsistent with his church’s teaching. I’m more than surprised the Vatican hasn’t asked for it. I suspect he forced himself or intimidated the five priests in question. When you’re a seminarian, you do as you’re told by your superiors otherwise they can make life very uncomfortable for you before and after ordination. It’s been going on for centuries, it’s not a rent phenomenon, nor is clergy pedophilia.

  • alexoloughlin

    @alexoloughlin: …not a recent phenomenon I meant.

  • yaoming

    When is the pope going to tell everyone why he resigned like this guy?

  • hf2hvit

    SCUM BAG…No diffferent then all the married republican male dick lovers who tell you why you should be republican after getting porked…

  • 2eo

    @yaoming: He’s spent 5 decades protecting paedophiles and forcing victime to kill themselves, sadly the most evil people on the planet have carte blanch to be c*nts to billions because they are of god.

    Crock of bollocks.

  • queerty1958

    And yet million of Catholics are doing absolutely NOTHING to get these abusers prosecuted. What the fuck is wrong with these sheeple!

  • 2eo

    @queerty1958: As I have said, these scandals have being iin the public eye now for decades and the “moderates” are prepared to sweep it under the rug ALL THE TIME, the time for that to be acceptable has long passed, every silent christian is an accomplice in these crimes against humanity.

    You should all feel the guilt and shame of ruining the lives of millions with your abject silence and complete inaction.

  • Teleny

    It always turns out that the biggest Anti-Gay activists are closet cases.

  • Musk

    For those of you who are trying to draw a distinction between priest’s unwanted advances to their underlings, or priest’s that have actually fucked their underlings . . . SHAME ON YOU! These are anti-gay [no condoms] serial killers directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of gay and straight people. They aren’t some old pervs hanging out at adult bookstores, looking to get their rocks off. I’m not sure what’s worse, your attempt to white wash these pathetic SOBs or the SOBs themselves! Jesus! I get so god-damn mad at people like you.

  • LadyL

    @Musk: Point taken, but I think your anger is more appropriately directed at the likes of Keith O’Brien, rather than those here who criticize him. For the record–and speaking as a woman who in her time has dealt with similar issues–in certain circumstances an unwanted advance can quickly degenerate into violent assault.

  • LadyL

    @Musk: On the other hand I think we want to be careful not to throw everyone in the same box. Why have so many men (especially those of O’Brien’s generation) entered the priesthood? Aren’t there any who have never abused a kid or made an unwanted pass at a fellow priest but have nevertheless lived lives of quiet shame and desperation, trying to pray away the gay? Do every single one of them deserve our scorn?

  • Billysees

    “To those I have offended…” he said.

    That should have been said, “To those I have offended, especially to all in our gay community, …”

  • 2eo

    @Billysees: To those I offended, especially those children I had sex with, and the families of those people I attacked with litigation, and organised hate marches against, and the firebombing of their houses in Glasgow.

    Sorry I got a little carried away at what this fucker is guilty of.

  • Musk

    @LadyL: I thought I was showing restraint.

  • Billysees

    @2eo: 25

    You’ve described this man and others like him, and their works, in a more detailed light.

    Though it’s not known at this time about any sex with children, it can be accepted that your other comments about litigations, organized hate marches and the firebombings in Glasgow are based on knowledge.

    You’ve mentioned before that you’re from England.
    I assume you write from there and that your awareness of certain events from that part of the world is true.

    I read pink news nearly everyday.

    See — http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/03/06/top-civil-rights-lawyer-says-she-feels-huge-compassion-for-cardinal-keith-obrien/

    You can read this comment there —

    “By his own admission, the cardinal stands exposed as a hypocrite. He preached publicly against homosexuality while privately seeking its pleasures,” human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said to PinkNews.co.uk on Monday.

    We’re all, the whole world that is, a bunch of fault prone people, but when those faults cause others to suffer, namely LGBT’s, that is an ultimate “evil” that must be eliminated as quickly as possible.

    I must say, thanks for telling more of the truth than I did.

Comments are closed.