Priests are men - and sinners....
They get tempted..they hunt for release or fleeting happiness in the wrong places...they fall...they screw up
They sin - they repent - they make every attempt to make amends - end of story.
Let he who is without sin?
They knew they were sinners because they knew what they did was wrong.
Therefore no power in Heaven or earth has the right to condemn them or accuse them of
hypocrisy when they say "it's wrong!"
The drug-addict can say 'don't ever start using'
The prisoner can say 'crime's a mug's game'
The gambler can be the first to recognise someone else has 'a little problem with the gee-gees' and one can argue has a moral duty to warn them about it...
So why can't a Cardinal who abused his authority generations ago in a lonely desperate mid-life crisis and made some naiive misdirected ham-fisted fumbling attempts at sexul intimacy...
- be allowed to say 'it's wrong!'?
And act acordingly?
Worry more about those screaming they are doing nothing wrong - or those who endorse such activity
with silence or behind the scenes collaboration...
Now I hate to get personal, but frankly Cardinal O'Brien's awkward drink-driven misconstruing of mixed messages leading to all-round humiliation
- where the 'seduction/declarations of love' is inadvertently subjectively interpreted as 'predation'
- actions more redolent of adolescent locker-room propositioning
- indicates that His Eminence is actually a naiive innocent abroad
- attempting to follow confused-but-sincere lustings for forbidden fruit and failing in unknown territory
- it virtually exonerates him of any grave culpability except for being a bloody fool...
Anyone remember the Hugh Grant/Divine Brown incident?
Rather than showing Mr Grant as a salacious sordid sexual reprobate; the fact that he went looking for a prostitute on his own vindicates that this was an aberration - the studios/PA's/Producers normally deal with supplying their 'stars' with 'horizontal accompaniment' as demanded according to taste. The real serial-sexual scoundrels would never have been in such a compromising situation. The nets catching the minnows not the sharks.
Same with Cardinal O'Brien - the real clerical sexual reprobates would never be so 'stupid/reckless' as to risk such a scenario. [I won't go into detail but we all know more than enough about our hierarchical scoundrels - the live-in permanent deacons or housekeepers who don't have their own bedrooms - the religious orders who have season tickets with frequent use discount for gay saunas - the clergy who travel to the Holy land via a two week stopover in Bangkok or Marrakesh. The 'Good friend' visited on the days-off whose face is usually all over the holiday snaps etc etc]
These people NEVER get caught.
...and if the media do find out then usually the powers-that-be make deals with the media to ensure that the grim details never reach print or the TV screens. The 1950s News of the World-type reports of "Vicar in a tutu caught on clapham common playing strip-ludo with Guardsman and a stick of celery" still happen - they just rarely reach print. [to be honest with the state of the CofE these days the guilty party would be more likely to photocopy them and send them out as christmas cards] But the Catholic Church does everything it can to cover up these indiscretions...and because it has, some individuals have reached the highest of national ecclesiastical positions.
Before anyone doubts this: The Church in this country does make these deals!!!
Just because I won't mention individuals doesn't mean to say these things haven't happened.
The fact that London's Catholic major bigwigs didn't make any deals regarding this case
[plus the blatantly undeniable fact that Archbishop Mennini would never have leaked this story to the Observer...
...and no third party's story [without some form of ecclesiastical confirmation that the story was true] could have been given credence enough for its publication - out of fear of litigation]
...indicates that certain parties had it in for His Eminence
...and with collusion between Church-insiders and third parties it ensured Cardinal O'Brien was done up like the proverbial kipper
...almost certainly being punished for his outspoken 'hypocritically homophobic' defence of marriage. [As can be expected, the 'morally outraged' Stonewall are well-known for their silence regarding their homosexual clerical friends - irrespective of their position or their flagrant shenanigans]
Now other bloggers are bound to report on the outrageous amphibolies by the media implying this is all under the 'clerical sexual abuse' unbrella...
And the problem of the 'shame' of same-sex attraction and many young men attempting to hide it from their families by hiding in the priesthood...
And the problem of the dearth of pastoral care for homosexuals...[when in actual fact the problem is its hijacking by 'queering the church'/'this love is not wrong' activist thugs a la the Soho Mass brigade with associated professional clerical luvvies in tow - while the hierarchy turn a blind eye]
And possibly revel in 'lavender mafia' conspiracy theories - whether it be on a diocesan or a Vatican level...
And bewail/denounce the open acceptance of the Metropolitan professional 'Lavender Elite' movers-and-shakers of all Church persuasions - be they rabid Tridentinists or rampant Tabletistas...Whether it be the Catholic Charity boss with her girlfriend or the celebrity priest at dinner parties with his boyfriend...
And the persistent 'Catholic gay problem' where hating the sin and loving the sinner gets confused and you have gay-bashing 'trads' for whom the cold is 'God's way of telling us to burn more sodomites' versus liberals for whom gay sex is 'political liberation from an oppressive anachronistic patriarchal Vatican hegemony'...meanwhile men and women struggling with same-sex attraction are thrown to the wolves...
But the blogs have forever been inundated with this issue
and I've said more than enough on the subject already...
Yet when it comes to hypocrisy?
Cardinal O'Brien was always a rank amateur compared with his southern counterparts....clerical and lay...sadly the abject hypocrisy of some recent commentary has been breath-taking!
We need to pray for all involved...but if the prayer-priority is commensurate with sinfulness...His Eminence will be one of the last on the list...