Cardinal O’Brien accusers refute claims they were seeking revengeCurrent affairs
Four men at the heart of the scandal that led to the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, one of Britain’s leading Catholic clerics, have denied claims that they were seeking revenge for his anti- homosexual views.
Cardinal O’Brien resigned last month after claims were made that he had behaved inappropriately towards a number of priests. He made an apology after four priests went public with their allegations, saying that “there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me”.
The four priests strongly contend claims that they are part of a “gay cabal” seeking “revenge” for Cardinal O’Brien’s anti- gay opinions. Instead they’ve told of how they banded together to fight against his manipulation and abuse.
One priest, “Father Peter”, stated, “This isn’t about people being gay. It’s about abuse of power.” He added that “the emotional and psychological power Keith O’Brien had over me was incredible. He was utterly manipulative”.
“Father Peter” confessed to being involved in an inappropriate relationship with the Cardinal which resulted in him needing counselling. He has argued that the story has been misunderstood and the complaints were not made to serve any political agenda, saying, “I sought help for this a decade ago. I was on antidepressants and couldn’t cope anymore.”
Another former priest, “Lenny”, told of how he had rejected the advances of Cardinal O’Brien when he was still a seminarian. Refuting claims of revenge, he said, “I was surprised at the suggestion that I was part of a gay cabal. And my partner of 26 years? I’d say she was quite surprised too.”
When the pair discovered they had the abuse in common after a coincidental reunion, they found others who had experienced the same thing.
“Gradually we all found one another. We had each thought that Keith had a problem, but then we realised there was more to it. This was a man who was using his power wickedly,” said “Father Peter”.
All four priests deny their claims of the Cardinal’s inappropriate behaviour were made for malicious reasons. “This was done for altruistic reasons. I see the bigger picture: the cleansing of the Church,” said “Father Peter”.