Cardinal O’Brien was set to retire to a little cottage in Dunbar, Scotland, but he has, apparently, been told by the Vatican to pack his bags and head to Coventry. This has upset the parish priest in Dunbar, one Canon John Creanor, who apparently expressed his upset over the decision by the Vatican to move against his “dear friend.”
It appears that the Vatican moved against O’Brien after Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia appealed to the Holy See to take action after O’Brien reemerged in Scotland earlier this week. O’Brien admitted to having consensual sexual relationships with other priests, and been accused of assaulting a seminary student.
One anonymous supporter of O’Brien told the Scotland Herald that:
“The cardinal has been advised not to relocate to the parish in Dunbar and has been told he should leave the country. That’s extremely disappointing and not a Christian way to treat someone. There’s clearly pressure from within and outwith the Church and no show of unity.
“People expect some sort of jail sentence for Keith O’Brien or at least a desire to see him retired to monastic life. It would certainly be convenient for them. Personally, I find it an atrocious way to treat someone who has been facing up to their responsibilities.”
Roughly 90% of the parishioners of Our Lady of The Waves in Dunbar have signed a statement declaring their support for Cardinal O’Brien. Unfortunately, the senior Church officials fear that he is still causing damage.
After admitting to his engagement in “inappropriate behaviors”, O’Brien stated:
“I’m just trying to do my best to live a good Christian life myself now. Many people have been helping me to go back on the right path and that’s what I have to do. But I haven’t always managed to live that in my own life.
“I have been supported by many good Christian people and many people of no religion at all who realise I have said sorry for anyone I have offended. If Christianity is about anything at all, it’s about forgiveness. That’s what I have to do as a cardinal priest – just forgive the wrongdoer and help them go back on to the right path.
“It’s been quite a difficult, quite a humbling experience for me. It’s very difficult for them [the men whose complaints led to his retirement]. That is why I have apologised for being a teacher who has not been able to live up to the teaching of the Church.
“We know what’s against God’s law. Consequently, we should try to live by God’s law. I’ve apologised for my failures in that respect.”
So, basically, the Church’s priorities are you go into exile if you have sex with other men, you get defrocked if you speak out in support of marriage equality, but if you are a child molester, you’ll get moved around and may get defrocked a decade or after you first get reported.