Scotland: a new cardinal favors homosexual clergy

Source: FSSPX News


The Scottish archbishop Keith Patrick O’Brien, elevated by Pope John-Paul II to the cardinalate, is appealing for a greater openness of the Church toward homosexual clergy, married priests and artificial contraception.

In an article published on September 30, the Glasgow daily, The Herald, cited Archbishop O’Brien who recalled that in England, it is possible to meet numerous Anglican pastors who have become married Catholic priests. For the future Scottish cardinal, celibacy is a big problem for young priests. He feels that since celibacy is an ecclesiastical law, it is urgent to distinguish between things pertaining to Divine law and those which depend on Church rules.

Archbishop O’Brien made this declaration the day after his nomination to the College of Cardinals. His membership will become official at the consistory of October 21 in Rome, in the company of 30 other cardinals created by John-Paul II. For the Scottish cardinal, these controversial questions are open to discussion, because they depend on the law of the Church, which is not the case with abortion, which, like murder, is concerned with God’s law.

After a Mass of thanksgiving at the cathedral of St Mary of Edinburgh, the future cardinal made an appeal to the Church at every level, including the pope, to discuss this theme in an open and detailed manner. The archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh also wants an open discussion of the question of artificial contraception.

Archbishop O’Brien had already made headlines when he affirmed, on the occasion of the Synod of Bishops of 1999, that the “lobby” of the Roman Curia had actually blocked discussion of the possibility of a married clergy. And in 1996, he had to face the media and announce that his confrere, Msgr. Roderick Wright, bishop of Argyll and the Isles, had left the chancery in the company of a divorced woman and that he was the father of a 15 year old illegitimate son.

According to The Herald, these declarations opened up a “theological chasm”between him and another high-ranking personality of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Msgr. Mario Joseph Conti, named Archbishop of Glasgow last year. On Sunday October 5, Msgr. Conti ordered a pastoral letter read in all the churches of his diocese to recall “more traditionally Catholic” views on marriage and family life.

Inside the Scottish hierarchy the surprise – even the consternation – is great regarding the assertions made by future Cardinal O’Brien, The Herald noted. While Cardinal Thomas Winning, who died two years ago, stirred up a controversy when he called homosexuality a “perversion”, the new cardinal says he has no problem with homosexual priests. As a clarification he added, “If they lead a celibate life, God will bless these men” (sic).