Cardinal O’Brien: Big homo

May he burn in hell.  There is no more appropriate place for hugely homophobic Catholic church leaders like Britain’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who bash gays for sport, then end up being gay.

The UK’s Cardinal O’Brien, you’ll recall, was the Catholic church’s senior official in Britain, and was recently accused by four priests, 3 current and one former, of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature when they were young seminarians.  O’Brien denied it, then quit, then admitted it today.

Not that this should surprise. I’ve long suspected that some of the most virulent homophobes act the way they do because they’re gay.  Who else, after all, would be so committed to the notion of homosexuality being a “choice” as someone who is secretly gay and “chooses” not to act on their urges.  Except of course, Cardinal O’Brien acted, at least four times, and finally got caught.

From the Guardian we learn what Cardinal O’Brien is accused of having done:

I had four statements that described the cardinal attempting to touch, kiss, or have sex with people in his care.

“He started fondling my body, kissing me and telling me how special I was to him and how much he loved me,” one had written. One of the statements was five pages long. Given the strength of the evidence we had, the Observer chose to publish the story.

We wrote earlier about what the very-gay Cardinal O’Brien had to say about gay people:

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

Cardinal Keith O’Brien via Wikipedia/

In May 2005 he told members of the Scottish Parliament that homosexuals were “captives of sexual aberrations”, comparing homosexuals to prisoners in Saughton jail. In January 2006 he criticised Westminster MPs over the introduction of civil partnerships in the UK, and Holyrood members over the liberalisation of divorce laws in Scotland, In July 2006 he opposed proposals to change the law which would require Catholic adoption agencies to place children with homosexuals in the same way as with heterosexuals, calling them totalitarian.[dubious – discuss] In 2011 he criticised “aggressive secularism” denouncing what he claimed was the way Christians had been prevented from acting in accordance with their beliefs because they refuse to endorse such lifestyles.

On 5 March 2012, O’Brien criticised the concept of same-sex marriage on BBC Radio 4, saying it would shame the United Kingdom and that promoting such things would degenerate society further.

Bite me.

Interestingly, the Guardian notes that the Vatican’s initial response to the scandal was – wait for it – to sweep it under the rug:

The four complainants made their statements to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, around 8 or 9 February. On 11 February the pope resigned. The first response the complainants received from the nuncio said O’Brien should continue to go to Rome because “that will make it easier to arrange his retirement to be one of prayer and seclusion like the pope”. The complainants recognised church subtext. In a message to me one wrote: “This is saying, ‘leave it to us to sweep it under the carpet and you can forget about it. It will fade away as if we have dealt with it.’ Not acceptable.”

The Catholic leadership has long been a fan of “do as I say, not as I do” morality.  It’s okay for them to do every “sin,” but for you, not so much.  And they’ll even go so far as to cover up the sin, claim they did nothing wrong – and then blame the victims, as Ratzinger himself did as a cardinal, as did another church leader – when it’s one of their own, as we’ve learned time and again with the church’s pedophilia scandal.

Remember, this is a church that once castrated young boys who came forward to accuse church officials of raping them as children. It’s a church that lamented the imprisonment of pedophiles.  And it’s a church that gladly gave a full church funeral to a man who raped over 150 kids.

The Catholic Church’s moral hypocrisy appears to know no bounds.  I can’t think of any organization, other than the Boy Scouts, that has had such a problem with pedophiles as the Catholic Church.  And both, interestingly, are guilty of such moral hubris.

This should be the final nail in the coffin of the Catholic Church’s moral authority, but it won’t be.  These are men who rape children and routinely cover it up, while then aiding and abetting the rape of even more children, and who have yet to admit full responsibility for their crimes.  In that kind of perverted world, what’s one guy who sexually harassed an 18-year-old?

Hell, eighteen is practically geriatric for this crowd.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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65 Responses to “Cardinal O’Brien: Big homo”

  1. Henryjohn says:

    Time to end the church’s exemption from taxes. It will help lower the deficit and most likely end its existence in America.

  2. karmanot says:


  3. karmanot says:

    French Vanilla is my fav.

  4. celticbuddha says:

    Yes it has always been that way. I had an elderly acquaintance who was Catholic and was an altar boy as a youth in a very small mid-western Catholic town. The parish priest at that time, early 1920s, would conduct periodic “penis checks” of the altar boys. Probably looking for the “big boys”. Of course nothing was done. Priests up until Vatican II were looked upon by the laity as the embodiment of Christ, revered and never questioned. Nuns were practically held in the same esteem. They were holy because they had given up their lives to the Church (Christ). I was raised Catholic, but by age ten my rational mind knew what bullshit they were purveying. By age 25 I had completely freed myself from the cult.

  5. celticbuddha says:

    If that apostle has a vagina.

  6. Dave of the Jungle says:

    There’s no place like Rome…

  7. Lisa Johnson says:

    It has become a rotten onion? I believe it has been one all along.

  8. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I really wish there was one. The Westboro Church people could join him.

  9. Don Chandler says:

    Yeah, well, have you tried vanilla ice cream lately?

  10. Ninong says:

    For a humble abode, his new apartment sure is taking a long time to fix up. I wonder if he’s taking a few of the Pratesi sheets with him? In addition to Bel Giorgio, he’s taking four Memores domini to wait on him, clean house, do the laundry, cook, etc. And, best of all, they take a vow of silence. Too bad he had to give up the ruby slippers, which he claims were made by his personal shoemaker and not Prada.

  11. Ninong says:

    The people of St. Andrews and Edinburgh are in for a treat. The guy who will be taking Cardinal O’Brien’s place claimed that MP Cairns died due to homosexuality! You see, Cairns was another Catholic priest who wanted to be a politician, so he asked the Vatican to laicize him. It probably helped that he informed them that he’s gay, too. He became active in British politics and then won election to Parliament, but only after Parliament passed a law to get around an existing law that said even former Catholic priests were not allowed to become members of parliament.

    He died at the age of 44 due to pancreatitis, but the guy who is taking O’Brien’s place (I can’t remember his name) said he died because of his homosexuality. He was living with his partner when he passed away.

  12. Ninong says:

    The issue was strictly political. Lugo was getting more and more active in politics. To make matters worse, it’s the sort of politics the Vatican doesn’t like — South American social-reformer politics, “liberation politics.” Power to the people, etc. He asked the Vatican to laicize him so that he could run for president of Paraguay. Benedict refused. Lugo ran anyway. After he won the election, he asked again to be released from his vows because Paraguay has a law on the books that says a member of the clergy cannot become president.

    The election was in April 2008. Benedict continued to deny Bishop Lugo’s request, thinking that he could never be sworn in as president because of Paraguay’s law. Then, Benedict finally relented and released him at the end of July and he was sworn in as president the next month, August, 2008. I wonder if Lugo said anything to him about having fathered a son with a young woman?

    Anyway, Lugo acknowledged the son as his own when the news came out months later, after he was already in office. Then a couple of other women came forward, mainly because they were pissed he has dumped them for a much younger woman. It was a complete soap opera.

  13. BeccaM says:

    You’re right: They don’t get it. The RCC hierarchy doesn’t realize that protecting the rapists of children isn’t an image problem — it’s a moral abomination in their midst, which they refuse to deal with as it ought to be, namely with criminal prosecutions. And they refuse to admit their complicity in these crimes, because they won’t report them to the legal authorities as they are required to do by law in nearly every country on the planet.

    Somewhere, deep in that institution, is the belief that if they do something, whatever it is, no matter how abominable, by definition it isn’t wrong. It started with doctrine and the definition of heresy, and grew monstrous with the addition of papal infallibility (sic). From this came the crusades, the inquisitions, and the genocide of indigenous peoples.

    In modern times, the RCC is among the reasons we lost so many to AIDS, because they kept insisting it was a moral judgment and not a simple viral disease — albeit a nasty one — capable of being prevented with a thin layer of latex or vinyl.

    They truly haven’t left the Dark Ages behind, have they?

  14. BeccaM says:

    I remember hearing there was an issue with Lugo being an un-released priest, but didn’t know the details.

    All I can say is it figures.

  15. karmanot says:

    It’s in the can

  16. karmanot says:

    Ninong, I love it when you talk Church!

  17. karmanot says:

    Some of my best friends are shallots!

  18. karmanot says:

    “it can lead to Self-flagellation among other things.” That’s not good, because even dominatrices have to earn a living.

  19. karmanot says:

    In the following year I suspect the avalanch of scandal that will break will beyond even the most cynical outrage. Ratzo has abandoned his sinking ship to live like a Dowger queen in luxurious retreat within the Vatican free of any secular law. The next mountain of corruption to collaspe will be the African Church. I can promise you it will make Ireland and America look like amatures.

  20. MyrddinWilt says:

    Observations made on the general population probably don’t map too well to involuntary celibates. Straight guys who go to all male jails are known to have sex with, even rape other men while they are inside then go back to being straight afterwards.

    Choosing ‘Gods will’ does not make celibacy a voluntary choice as far as the consequences go.

    Sex, kink and arousal are three different things that are usually strongly linked. Being straight or gay is really best defined by what arouses a person rather than what they do with their genitals.

    There is a line in 1984 about all the waving flags being just sex gone sour. I think that really applies to the whole Catholic church hierarchy.

    There are two parts to this sex scandal. The first is the non-scandal about the man who has sex with other men. Whether that is due to O’Brien being gay by inclination or as a result on involuntary celibacy does not matter. The second is the hypocrisy and the harassment. those do matter and we can pretty much pin the blame on the celibacy.

    The early church did not have celibate priests. They even had women priests. Celibacy was a much later invention and to justify the all-male priesthood the bigots had to confuse Mary Magdalene the apostle of apostles with Mary of Bethany, the reformed prostitute.

    Most of the Da Vinci code is pure trash but there is one little nugget of truth. There isn’t a single claim in any gospel or recognized apocryphal text that states Magdalene was a prostitute. That only came in in 591 when pope Gregory started the confusion.

    So the Catholic church will even slander an apostle.

  21. Thanks. Sometimes some people, and some institutions, are worthy of nothing more than utter contempt. So sometimes we give them what they deserve :)

  22. that’s why we have to make him suffer here and now

  23. So many churches need to be stopped, not just the Catholic church. A lot is focused on them because of their extreme hypocrisy and just general publicity but the orthodox churches (Greek, Russian, etc.) have major issues too, and not to mention the myriad of Protestant churches. But this is good – one more nick in the armor.

  24. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    John, your anger is refreshing. I’m certain you are speaking for all of us. I certainly feel that those who do the most damage to us are the self loathers.

  25. hoary_nodens says:

    I’ll agree with that. The catholic church needs to be exterminated. It is an international criminal organization whose myriad crimes include the systematic rape of children.

  26. Ninong says:

    Now that Benedict has taken the veil, I wonder if they will still go forward with plans to canonize JPII this October?

  27. Not to mention the stench!

  28. Ninong says:

    Actually it’s now up to five that we know about… and counting. The fifth one is another current priest!

  29. Badgerite says:

    It is sad to think but it is evident to me, at least, that the Vatican Councils as a means to bring the Catholic Church out of the days of ‘ The Holy Roman Empire’ and the middle ages have failed. And the backlash against it, in the Church’s hierarchy has succeeded. I heard a Church official refer to the sex abuse scandals as an ‘image problem’. They just don’t seem to get this. I think the hierarchy operates in such a bubble. Look at where the Conclave to pick the next pope is being held for God sake. Talk about medieval. They are all wrapped up in these traditions and it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that the Church existed and thrived in a time before these ‘traditions’ were enforced on people from the top down. Before the Catholic Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire and therefore had to be codified into an official orthodoxy and enforced from on high. And they behave as if they are still in that time. I wish this time they would consider that the real moral force in the Catholic Church, if it exists at all, does and always has resided in its people. And it would be nice if this time they would stop and listen to their parishioners. But I look at these old men, dressed in medieval garb in the remaining vestiges of the artistic and architectural spender of the temporal power the Church used to have and you can’t help but think it just isn’t ever going to happen with those people in those surroundings. Of course they are running around ‘silencing’ nuns for being too outspoken and feeling themselves above the law and basic moral values of humanity. They have one foot in now and the other in the time when the Church was part of the power structure of an empire.

  30. How else is a parent supposed to keep a brat in check?

    Do as I/the Popester says or burn in Hell for eternity, ya useless dweep!

    Why else do ya think we have so many psychotics running amok today, especially in the Catholic church?

  31. Ninong says:

    Remember a few years ago when we were talking about Bishop Fernando Lugo of Paraguay? He was a politician in his spare time and had asked Benedict to laicize him but Benedict turned him down. So he ran for president anyway and was elected. Benedict still refused to release him. Then, finally, at the end of July 2008, Benedict let him out of his vows. He was sworn in as President of Paraguay the middle of August 2008 and served until 2012.

    But unusual as that is, it’s not the interesting part. After he was on the job running the country as its president, it came out that back when he was a 55-year-old Catholic bishop, he fathered a child with a 24-year-old parishioner! Mon Dieu!!!

    Then, shortly thereafter, a couple more women came forward to say that they too had had sexual relationships with Bishop Lugo. Paraguayans actually took pride in his virility and started calling him the “father of all Paraguayans.” LOL


  32. News Nag says:

    For millenia.

  33. BeccaM says:

    I find it fascinating, what the Catholic Church will ignore, if not actively tolerate: The slavery of women in Ireland. Pedophile rapists in the clergy. Moral hypocrisy, criminal conspiracies, and spiritual perversion.

    And what do they stand firmly against? Preventing unplanned pregnancies. Equality for women. Allowing gay people any kind of civil rights, social recognition, or simple compassion, including the right to form lasting monogamous relationships and to raise children in a stable household.

    If that isn’t the complete opposite of what that Jesus fellow supposedly taught, I don’t know what is.

    There seems to be nothing but rot remaining under the rock of Peter’s church…

  34. BeccaM says:

    Once may be curiosity. Twice, an indulgence. Four times, that we know about, meaning there are probably dozens more? We’re talking repression, obsession, and pathology.

  35. Don Chandler says:

    well, maybe it’s a dangerous preoccupation best left to priests–fantasy punishments…it can lead to Self-flagellation among other things.

  36. tedhayes says:

    I’ll bet this this one guy who wishes something other than his homophobia came back to bite him on the ass.

  37. keirmeister says:

    One of the things I like about your posts, John, is that you’re not against saying impolite things about people who don’t deserve the benefits of a genteel admonition. I’m tired of our “polite” society letting bad behavior get off (no pun intended) with a simple protest of disappointment.

    Keep keeping it real.

  38. vonlmo says:

    More proof why the r.c. church & jesus is all bogus. If Keith were so concerned about his lies & crimes & its effect on his “soul” & after life, he’d never have behaved as he has. He doesn’t care cuz he knows the r.c. church is a big swindle.
    Keith will retire w a comfy pension & all the twinkies he can get. His life will be good. Amen

  39. Ninong says:

    Did you notice the following “note to media” at the bottom of Cardinal O’Brien’s official statement? “Cardinal O’Brien is now out of the country and will not be available
    for interview.”

    I wonder if he’s visiting Cardinal Law in the Vatican?

  40. ex_brit says:

    No surprises here then. So why do I feel so fucking sick?

  41. ex_brit says:

    You’re offending onions.

  42. Indigo says:

    “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,” quoth the Cardinal. Interesting circumlocutions. Evasive in the real world but inside Church circles, perhaps a devastatingly candid confession. Well, I knew there was more than one reason to distrust Catholics and that systematic evasion is one more reason as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I mean Catholics in general, not just a corrupt Cardinal. Fool me once, yada yada . . .

  43. Ninong says:

    All anyone has to do is google Marcial Maciel for an example of what sort of horrific abuse can be tolerated by the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, a lot of the links that were in his Wiki profile has been removed, but it’s still enough to shock the average reader.
    Maciel was first reported back in the 1950’s. Then, again in the 1970’s. Then again later after Cardinal Ratzinger became Prefect of the CDF in 1981.

    Those investigations were either shut down or they simply were never opened in spite of multiple credible reports of forced sexual relationships with seminarians and young priests over the years. I believe the last investigation included reports for nine different individuals (8 seminarians and 1 priest). That one was shut down on orders from on high. “Why now?” was the excuse given, according to reports. Anyway, we all know how that ended up, now that the true scope of Maciel’s abuse has been reported following his death. He kept at least three mistresses and had children by at least two different women. He also liked young men (teens and young 20’s) and the fact that they were living virtually under his roof while at the seminary and looked upon him with such reverence made it that much easier for him to take advantage of them.

  44. samiinh says:

    It’s been that way for centuries.

  45. Ninong says:

    As I said in your first thread about Cardinal O’Brien, at least one of the current priests reported a “continuing relationship of a sexual nature” with O’Brien back when he was a seminarian and O’Brien was rector of the seminary. O’Brien didn’t remain there very long. I believe it was just two or three years. That could have meant that they felt there were two many reports of that sort floating around to keep him there. As you know, that’s the way it works. If credible reports of that sort are made, the solution has been to transfer the priest to a different assignment.

    That has been standard church policy worldwide! It’s not new and it wasn’t restricted to just one country. It only seemed limited and rare in years past because they managed to keep everything secret. I know for certain it goes back 60 years and I see no reason to believe it hasn’t always been that way.

  46. Ninong says:

    “Jeopardizes passage of the bill” could be read as simply an observation on the part of the Bishops, but that’s not the way I would read it. I know exactly what they mean. They mean they will put behind-the-scenes pressure on Catholic legislatures to get them to vote against any bill that includes recognition of gay couples. This is what they do every time a bill comes up that has anything to do with stem-cell research or government funding for contraception or abortion.

    Never forget one thing. The Catholic Church is not now and never has been in favor of democracies. They believe, as they always have, in the Divine Right of Kings, and the Divine Right of the Pope to crown them. That’s why the Vatican is so opposed to European Union membership for Turkey. The Church doesn’t think Christian Europe should be contaminated by any Muslim countries.

  47. ericxdc says:

    ok. i have to agree. but, as long as i’m making up fantasy punishments, can’t I make up a hell that he goes to for, maybe, a couple of years? Humor me, here.

  48. Jafafa Hots says:

    Actually, no.
    No human being deserves to be tortured for ETERNITY. The very concept of hell could only have been dreamed up by a sociopath.

    I knew a serial killer. Even he didn’t deserve torture, let alone ETERNAL torture.

  49. ericxdc says:

    kind of makes me believe in omigod, now!

  50. NO, other religions have problems and get just as much attention, it is just the Catholic Church works so hard to hide their sins and sinners when they are priests.

  51. There is a hell but it is only for pedophile priests and sexual abusers. It is right therein the book of Omigod.

  52. A gay priest. Why I have never heard of such a thing! I thought priests were celibate and pure. This upsets my whole concept of the Priesthood. I will not believe it. This must be the Onion. Na na na na boo boo…

  53. ericxdc says:

    kind of makes you wish religion was right on just this one thing for just this one reason.

  54. FLL says:

    Yup. The average reader, either on this blog or a mainstream news outlet, would forgive you for going out on that limb. ;)

  55. Island In The Sky says:

    If only there were a Hell for him to burn in…

  56. karmanot says:

    The terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’ should be separated and distinguished. To me gay implies ‘coming out’ and all the political, cltural and embrace of authentic identity it defines.

  57. karmanot says:

    Perfect analogy!

  58. dula says:

    He should just move on. There’s already a Saint Mary anyway.

  59. Correct, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that if you repeatedly try, and succeed, in having sex with adult men (albeit young ones) you’re gay (or bi). Especially when you’re a repeat offender.

  60. FLL says:

    A month ago, the American Catholic bishops had the nerve to send Obama a letter (link to the Huffpo article here) protesting Obama’s stated intention to include the rights of same-sex couples in immigration reform, which is also supported by National Council of La Raza, the nation’s major Hispanic advocacy group. Obama’s not always on target concerning civil rights, but if you want to understand the real enemy of civil rights, read this excerpt from the letter that these clerical asswipes wrote to Obama:

    Proposals by President Barack Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus include the same-sex partners of Americans among those who would be eligible for visas. The Human Rights Campaign and other gay advocates welcomed the recognition, arguing current laws unfairly treat people in gay or lesbian relationships “as strangers.” The idea has the backing of the National Council de la Raza and other liberal Latino groups.

    But Catholic bishops, with the support of evangelicals and other theological conservatives, have sent a letter to Obama protesting his proposal. In a sign of the sensitivity of the issue, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would not provide a copy of the statement, saying the signatories agreed not to make the letter public. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the bishops, would say only that recognition of gay couples in the president’s reform proposals “jeopardizes passage of the bill.”

    There’s your enemy, should you be looking.

  61. News Nag says:

    Pope Ratfucker flew off into the Vatican Witness Protection program, and the Vatican tried to get O’Brien into it too, but he wouldn’t go. Then he came out. Interesting. Did he finally decide to live the life he was meant to?

  62. lilyannerose says:

    The Catholic Church has become a rotten onion the further you peel to reach the core the slimier and more disgusting it gets.

  63. UncleBucky says:

    Repression and denial finally bites ya in the butt. Oh, well! He could have been Anglican and the point would have been moot. In all seriousness.

  64. FLL says:

    That link is here, in addition to the link for the Guardian article that John provided. They concern making sexual advances on four different priests. In his statement, O’Brien admits that at least some of these allegations are true. Both John and the source that I provided a link for are making a reasonable conclusion.

  65. Indigo says:

    Where’s the link to where O’Brien admitted he’s gay?

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