UNTIL his resignation on February 25, Cardinal Keith O'Brien was the Roman Catholic Church's top man in the UK, and used his position at every opportunity to demonise the LGBT community.
According to Wikipedia, in May 2005 he told members of the Scottish Parliament that homosexuals were "captives of sexual aberrations".
In January 2006 he criticised Westminster MPs over the introduction of civil partnerships in the UK, and in December 2011 O'Brien reiterated the Catholic Church's continued opposition to civil partnerships and suggested that there should be no laws that "facilitate" same-sex relationships, which he claimed were "harmful".
The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction and wider society by our actions.
On March, 5, 2012, O'Brien criticised the concept of same-sex marriage on BBC Radio 4, saying it would shame the United Kingdom and that promoting such things would degenerate society further.
Conservative MP Margot James called his comments "scaremongering" and said:
I think it is a completely unacceptable way for a prelate to talk.
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman said:
We have had prejudice, discrimination and homophobia for hundreds of years. That doesn't make it right [...] I don't want anybody to feel that this is a licence for whipping up prejudice.
Dan Hodges wrote:
I can't remember the last time I read a more morally and intellectually bankrupt rant from a senior member of the clergy.
Stonewall, a London-based lobbying group against attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, awarded O'Brien "Bigot of the Year" at their annual awards in November 2012.
O'Brien's spectacular downfall came after the Observer revealed that four young priests had accused him of "inappropriate behaviour towards them.
Today, in a statement issued by the Catholic Church in Scotland, O’Brien addressed allegations made against him by the four, plus another who spoke out later, and admitted that his “sexual conduct” has been:
Below the standards expected of him.
The 74-year-old former head of the Catholic Church in Scotland first denied the first set of allegations last weekend.
But in today's statement, the Cardinal, clearly a self-loathing hypocrite as are so many in his "profession", apologised, and asked for forgiveness, as well as admitting that, despite previously contesting the allegations, some were true.
The statement read:
In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them. However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness… To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.
He concluded by saying that he would retire, and would have no further involvement in the Catholic church in Scotland.
Also today, one of the priests accusing Cardinal O’Brien of inappropriate behaviour came forward to call for transparency within the Catholic church, which he said would “crush him” if it could, for speaking out.
In an editorial on Friday, British Catholic newspaper The Tablet said:
When Cardinal Keith O’Brien called gay marriage a ‘grotesque subversion’ and ‘madness’ it attracted widespread censure. No wonder the accusations of inappropriate behaviour as a younger man – strenuously denied – were so damning. If true, it made him look a hypocrite. For the church this was a public relations disaster.