Sunday, March 03, 2013

Progressive Catholic Perspectives on Cardinal O'Brien's Admission of Sexual Impropriety


I really wish Catholicism would get over the sexual purity expectations and get some perspective. Perhaps then we wouldn't have closeted sexually active men exposing themselves as either utter hypocrites or lonely men with a sex drive, or both. If any of the publicity about these allegations are true, it turns out it's the usual combination of alcohol and loneliness. . . . I guess I didn't react the same way [to news that Cardinal O'Brien has admitted to sexual impropriety] because I wasn't terribly surprised, and maybe quite a bit more sophisticated about these kinds of impropriety. That these are gay sexual advances is meaningless to me because I don't buy into the whole idea that somehow improper gay sex is somehow worse than improper straight advances. The impropriety with Cardinal O'Brien is the use of his position over his subordinates for access. That's what makes this abusive.

– Colleen Kochivar-Baker
"Cardinal O'Brien Admits to Sexual Impropriety"
Enlightened Catholicism
March 3, 2013

Cardinal O'Brien, like the pope, most of the other cardinals, bishops, monsignors and priests, played the same Catholic clergy gay game: ruthlessly condemn and persecute homosexuality in public, while in private ruthlessly seduce male seminarians and/or priests lower on the totem pole for companionship and sex. It's well know – from Monsignor Georg to the handsome new young male seminarians – that if you're on the path to becoming bishop or cardinal, you get to pick who rises up behind you. The problem is, not every seminarian or priest is willing to play that game. They won't go public with accusations that you hit on them, but the bold ones will privately inform the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Cardinal O'Brien was the most virulently anti-gay cardinal in the UK. So he deserves to end his hypocritical career in scandal and shame.

Phil Attey
March 3, 2013

Besides the abuse and harassment involved in this case, the real tragedy is that because of institutional Catholicism’s negative attitudes toward homosexuality, Cardinal O’Brien felt he could not have sought help to accept himself and to deal with his sexuality in mature, healthy, and holy ways. . . . If more church leaders were to acknowledge and accept their sexuality, the Catholic Church would be a much healthier, and much of the physical abuse caused by clerics’ behavior and emotional abuse caused by misguided teachings could be avoided.

– Francis DeBernardo

Related Off-site Links:
Scottish Cardinal Admits Improper Sexual Conduct – Joshua J. McElwee (National Catholic Reporter, March 3, 2013).
Priest Who Accused Cardinal O’Brien Says the Catholic Church Would 'Crush Him If It Could' – Joseph Patrick McCormick (Pink News, March 3, 2013).
Unfit for Purpose and In Denial: A Church That Has Lost All Authority – Kevin McKenna (The Observer, March 3, 2013).
Vatican Nightmare Continues: Cardinal Admits to Sexual Misconduct – Adam Taylor (Business Insider, March 4, 2013).
Sex, Lies and . . . Catholic Clergy – Terence Weldon (Queering the Church, March 4, 2013).
Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia Urged to Start New Dialogue with Gay Community – Scott Roberts (Pink News, March 4, 2013).
Homosexual Relationships: Another Look – Bill Hunt (The Progressive Catholic Voice, September 8, 2012).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Gay Men in the Vatican Are Giving the Rest of Us a Bad Name
Quote of the Day – February 28, 2013
Homosexuality and the Priesthood
Officially Homophobic, Intensely Homoerotic
Let's Face It: The Catholic Church is a Gay Institution
Benedict and Georg
Benedict and Georg Redux
Thoughts on Celibacy (Part IV)
Celibacy and the Roman Catholic Priesthood
It Is Not Good To Be Alone
Diarmuid Ó Murchú on Celibacy and Androgyny
Weakland, the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal, and Homophobia
Gay Bishop Feels "No Diminution of God's Love"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good comments here. It seems that Cardinal O'Brien was more moderate in earlier years and only in the past few years had he been outspoken against gay people. It is sad that many higher ups in the Church are outwardly against gay people but in private they exploit young men. It makes me wonder when they proclaim that gay people aren't good enough to be married but young gays are good enough to be used for sex.