Scotland: The successive fidelities of the future cardinal of Edinburgh

Source: FSSPX News


Bishop Keith O’Brien, known for his ultra-progressive views (see DICI n° 82), has had to make a Catholic profession of faith in his cathedral on October 7. “I uphold and maintain all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches in matters of faith and morals, but also everything that has been solemnly defined or affirmed by the ordinary Magisterium, especially the doctrines concerning the mystery of the Church as the body of Christ, the Sacraments, the sacrifice of the Mass and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff,” he declared in the presence of his faithful, after having recited the Credo.

He went on to give the following precision: “I accept and I have the intention of defending the law on ecclesiastical celibacy, as it is taught by the Catholic Church; I accept and promise to defend the ecclesiastical teaching concerning the immorality of homosexual acts; I accept and promise to promote always and everywhere, the Church’s teaching on contraception”.

Just after his nomination by John Paul II, Bishop O’Brien affirmed that he intended to demand a “comprehensive and frank discussion” about contraception, homosexuality and the priestly celibacy law. According to The Scotsman, the representative of a Catholic conservative group, which publishes the letter Catholic Truth, Ronnie MacDonald has spoken of a “directive coming from the Holy See that the profession of faith be made in public.” According to the agency Apic, it is not an “official directive”, but “advice” from Rome via the Apostolic Nuncio in England.

The fact remains that in an interview given to The Daily Telegraph a few days later, Bishop O’Brien explained that he had “no problem” assuming the responsibility for his two declarations. The prelate recalled that in “some Catholic churches in Eastern Europe, married men had access to the priesthood.” Likewise in the United Kingdom, there are a number of married Catholic priests,” as is the case for former Anglican priests who have converted to Catholicism. He declared he would thus help to introduce the debate on priestly celibacy in Rome.

This nomination has been called “an uncontrolled side-slip”, or even an “error”. Now that Bishop O’Brien has been created a cardinal, the Roman authorities will have to accept being submitted to a regime of la douche écossaise ( literally : Scottish shower, blowing hot and cold).