There is certainly no shortage of gay sex scandals in the Catholic Church these days, and here is yet another. Cardinal Keith Oâ€™Brien, formerly the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, was already disgraced for allegedly making sexual advances on four different priests, and now, there is more. One of the priests, a man called â€śFather Peter,â€ť admitted to a long term relationship with Oâ€™Brien in an interview with the Observer.
Already ousted and disgraced over the original accusations, Oâ€™Brien now faces a possible police investigation, as well as an official Vatican inquiry. The ironic thing about all of this is that Oâ€™Brien has always been one of the most homophobic men in the church, calling homosexuality a â€śgrotesque perversion,â€ť and equating marriage equality to child abuse and slavery.
Father Peter says that he now considers the relationship abuse, and is currently in therapy to work through the issues. He says:
â€śI was vulnerable and he knew that. He was very charismatic and I couldnâ€™t believe his interest in me. I thought he was helping me.â€ť
This is typical of abuse victims, and I hope Father Peter gets the help he needs. He also says that his reasons for coming forward were good ones:
â€śI see the bigger picture: the cleansing of the church.â€ť
The church needs cleansing, alright. In fact, it is my belief that the only way to truly cleanse it is to dismantle the whole damn thing and start anew, arresting every pedophile and pedophile enabler within. Or better yet, donâ€™t start anew, and just let people realize what an abusive, corrupt institution it is.
The Vatican originally tried to squash the original accusations, saying that a â€śgay cabalâ€ť was looking to take Cardinal Oâ€™Brien down. From inside the Vatican:
These guys, we now know, were part of an inner circle. In the 30 years since these allegations took place thereâ€™s been ample time to complain. The Cardinal has had a huge profile for the past decade. But the door wasnâ€™t just shut on them, it was bolted in the past 18 months.
I believe they wanted to silence Oâ€™Brien â€“ as heâ€™s about to do another conclave, and make a huge deal of it. As heâ€™s retiring, a decisionâ€™s been taken to go public and take him down.
However, with this priest coming forward, they can no longer deny Oâ€™Brienâ€™s misdeeds, and he will have to be dealt with. Hopefully said dealing comes sooner rather than later.
All I can say is that the more of these scandals that come out, the better to discredit this obviously harmful institution. Godspeed to anyone who is able and willing to blow the whistle.