The Resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien – A Sad Day

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has resigned. The only Scottish Cardinal was due to step down shortly anyway because of the guidance that Scottish bishops step down from that role aged 75. However after the story on Sunday in the Observer (not the Scottish Catholic Observer) alleging that the Cardinal, 30 years or more ago behaved “inappropriately” towards 4 men, 3 of whom are priests, and one who resigned his ministry, His Eminence took the decision, approved by Pope Benedict, to bring his departure as Archbishop of the Diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh forward. He will not attend the Conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict.

First of all, I know nothing about the allegations beyond what has been reported. I know that the Cardinal has denied behaving “inappropriately”. I am not in position to comment on the truth or otherwise of the allegations. This blog is not about questions of guilt or innocence.

Secondly the use of the word “inappropriate” may turn out to be a lawyer-imposed condition. It is not, necessarily, an accusation of criminality for example. However it has allowed people to super-impose their own narratives on the story. Few come to this with an open mind.

Thirdly, as I mentioned on Twitter, I think yesterday was a sad day – for the Cardinal, for the Church and for Scotland.

Why?

The Cardinal has served his Church and its members faithfully for many years. He has generally been unafraid to make the teaching of the Church clear, though this has not stopped people including the media from misrepresenting his views and those of the Church. It might be asked if his interview last week where he discussed priests marrying was wise, not being in accord with the Church’s views. But, despite his years of work he will be forever known as the Cardinal who resigned, accused of all sorts of iniquity (even where he is not). His legacy and reputation lie in tatters, whether there is any truth in the allegations or not.

The timing of the report was perfect for the purposes of those who have made them. In the fevered coverage of the Pope’s resignation and of the imminent Conclave the story would have been prominent in the world’s press, fitting in with some of the more extreme accusations about “gay conspiracies” in the Vatican. Any book written by or about spin doctors makes clear that the timing of a story can be even more important than the substance. The release of this, after 30 years, could not have been timed to better effect.

His Eminence did what has become very rare these days. He stepped down almost immediately. Having watched politicians cling on to the last minute (Chris Huhne being only the most recent example) it is refreshing to see someone take a decision which might well be contrary to their own interests in the wider good. Cardinal O’Brien has done so. Even if it turns out he has been fallible and human as alleged, I think that the manner of his departure is dignified and appropriate.

For the Church here and worldwide it was a sad day too. It is not, however, the darkest time for the Scottish Church since the Reformation, as I have seen it called. (Having written this, I see that Professor Tome Devine has called the matter “probably the gravest single public crisis to hit the Catholic Church in Scotland since the Reformation”. I bow to the learned Professor’s expertise in these matters, although I still think that my confidence in how the Church in Scotland will deal with it is justified.)

The Church has survived many more serious challenges over 2,000 years and in Scotland since the faith came here through Saints Columba and Ninian in the 5th and 6th Centuries.

The story provides ammunition for those who detest the Church and what it stands for. Already it goes beyond the 5 players in it.

It will also not be a surprise to see more allegations about Cardinals round the world as the Conclave approaches as it will be open season and, as we have already seen, an ideal time for similar allegations to get air-time. That, again, is not to say that any allegations of whatever nature will necessarily be wrong, but all around the world there are people who would wish to do harm to the Church. It would not surprise me to see articles about the Conclave referring to numerous participating Cardinals against whom allegations have been made – let’s wait and see. (But not the Holy See)

It is true that, as the years have passed, the church-going Catholic population has declined. But amongst those who do go to Mass I have detected an increased vibrancy. Maybe I am lucky in attending Mass where our Parish Priest is clear, unequivocal (and entertaining! After all I suspect few parishes heard a sermon last Sunday on the resignation of Pope Benedict where Thin Lizzy and The Stranglers were mentioned!)

But our Sunday Mass is filled to capacity each week, and whilst there are many older parishioners, there are many young families too. At least where I go to Mass the next generations are already there and active.

Some reports yesterday suggested that the Catholic community in Scotland was now bereft and leaderless. But that is untrue. In our parishes we have our priests, deacons and active laity. We have our bishops. We have our Pope and shortly will have a new one. Most importantly we have our Church and our Faith.

In the same way that the election of a new Pope brings fresh vigour to the Vatican and the Church, the selection of a new Archbishop and Cardinal will do so for the Church here too. As the Cardinal had already reduced his duties because of health reasons a more active Cardinal will do more.

But, for the positives to come, it is still a sad day for us, as we know that a tide of ill-informed nonsense will surround us. (Which is not to suggest that all the coverage will be “ill-informed nonsense” – some of it will be sensible – most will not).

But we are not, for example, back at the situation of St John Ogilvie being hanged at Glasgow Cross.

And why a sad day for Scotland?

The worldwide coverage cannot be seen in any way as positive. And it is not a positive story. The gleeful reaction of some who are happy to manipulate the story for their own ends does not help the country either (though those are the ways of politics, and this is political).

Scotland is receiving coverage all around the world, and not positive – from the Sydney Morning Herald to the New York Times. From Santiago to Tokyo.

First Minister Alex Salmond, of whom I am not always the biggest fan, made a fine statement yesterday. He said:-

“None of us know the outcome of the investigation but I have found him to be a good man for his church and his country.”

“It would be a great pity if a whole lifetime of work was lost.”

The Cardinal was a leading figure on the world stage and one representing Scotland. Whenever Scotland loses a voice able to speak to the world, it diminishes our influence.

As I said, yesterday was a sad day. However it offers the chance for a positive to be made of what has happened. In the same way as a new Pontiff will inherit the Shoes of the Fisherman, a new Archbishop will take up position in Edinburgh. The new Archbishop will be chosen by the new Pope, and therefore Scotland will be amongst the first places to feel the active influence of Benedict’s successor.

And finally, the Cardinal will be in the prayers of many throughout Scotland today, as indeed will those who have accused him. May God’s grace be upon them all.

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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315 Comments

Filed under Catholic Church, Personal

315 responses to “The Resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien – A Sad Day

  1. madmo67

    An excellent blog Paul. I am deeply saddened for the Cardinal and all those involved but my faith will remain and I trust Holy Spirit will look after the Church and heal the hurt on both sides

  2. Scotus

    Ian, I owe you a profound apology. I was intending to reply to another blog entirely about Martin Luther, and sat down at Paul’s instead. Forgive me.

  3. Cardinal O’Brien must be looked upon as innocent until proven guilty , and anyone forming a lynch mob in this day and age should hang their heads in shame .

  4. Greg72

    I’ve just seen this item on the BBC website:-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21584820
    If it’s true, and the Cardinal does not know who are his accusers and does not know of what they are accusing him, then we are in ‘Kafka-esque’ territory – or even ‘1984’ territory! Of course, I imagine some might say ‘if he doesn’t know his ‘accusers’ nor what he is being accused of, why has he resigned?’. Now this is just a suggestion – but might it be to protect the reputation of the Church?

  5. tailothebank

    Paul,
    Well ,and bravely, put !
    A well articulated perspective …educational at the same time !
    Tom Devine looks ridiculous , was way off the mark and will be regretting his cheap and unnecessary headline .. the timing of all of this stinks from the high heavens ..whether there is indeed guilt or otherwise!

  6. Pensionerbhoy

    Paul

    I am late, not because I have been ignoring your post, but simply because I have a normal life to lead and it has taken up more of my time today than is usual. Now that I have the time, I am happy to express my opinion. So much so, I have used some of the early hours that could be better spent in rest, to comment. I would not be accused of reneging on my commitment to some who post on here, to address the issue of Cardinal O’Brien’s current situation.

    I knew you would not shirk from comment though, from a legal viewpoint, I expected you to perhaps not mention anything till a case was in place. However, as you have made this statement, I feel obliged, given my strong admonition of the dirt scrapers yesterday, to put my brush away, hold my heel firmly on the edge of the carpet and make a “clean” sweep.

    I will begin by congratulating you on an excellent expose. I think you have explained the feelings and the understanding of most Scottish Catholics with regard to these disruptive events. However, I refuse to see anything that has happened as a sad day for my church. Awkward, perhaps, but, in the course of human existence, perfectly, well perhaps not perfectly, but at least normal. All institutions are the creations of men and where man is involved so is human weakness. Only the fool fails to recognise this in himself and in others. Only the uninformed and the blind do not expect it. The church has been flawed since the days of the disciples. Who is so out of synch as to believe we have reached perfection today? On the contrary, the nature of current affairs in so many walks of life leaves almost all institutions more open to abuse today than for many centuries. Anyone who fails to recognise that the followers of Christ, eventually known as Christians, were and still are weak and defective men and women, ignore the Apostles, His other followers, the early Christians and most who have come after. St. Peter was a coward who denied he knew the man he had accompanied for over three years. Judas betrayed Him and the other apostles, except John, ran away and went into hiding rather than be associated with Him. The early Christians were constantly being admonished and castigated by St. Paul for their misbehaviour. History has delighted in the pre reform abuses and the disgrace of various papacies – The Borgia Popes, for example – and the church as a whole from the middle ages to probably the eighteenth century. Is it surprising that a man who spent his adult life in the presence of “sinners” would want his followers to consist, in the main at least, of people of that disposition? The church “established” by Christ was a church of “sinners” for “sinners”. Being a big one myself, I find that fact very comforting and I experience no shock, sadness or disappointment when the sins of one or many of us enters the public domain.

    That is not to say that such instances are not distracting and to some extent destructive. Public insinuations, accusations or misdeeds do impact on the good that the Mystical Body tries to accomplish. This Mystical Body of Christ “exists on this earth, and is called the Church militant, because its members struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil.” (Taken from The Basic Catholic Catechism, PART FIVE: The Apostles’ Creed IX-XII, Ninth Article: “The Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints”) The operative word is struggle because it is open to failure, because it is a constant battle but also because it makes failure acceptable. Catholics are not perfect but they strive to achieve perfection. The effort is flawed but the attempt is admirable. It is on that we hope to be judged, not by man who will doubtless look to condemn, but by God who will understand. And this is the very situation in which Cardinal O’Brien finds himself today. Accused and already condemned for potential weakness. But why, when he lives in an environment that welcomes such imperfection?

    So, of those who would cast the stones, I ask on what facts do they justify their action? Of those that would want the the cardinal to be without sin, I would ask on what grounds? And to those who would demand his head, I ask of what is he accused? When answers are forthcoming, there may be another debate to be had. For now I am content to wait for the next phase before making any judgements or proffering any further explanations. Meantime, I am content to go about my daily business with the same faith and belief that I have always had undaunted by the potential failure of a fellow Christian in a flawed church ruled by weak and imperfect men.

  7. Timetowakeup

    Why all the wringing of hands? This is more common than not. Any religion serves only those who take part in the lies. RC is the worst of the lot. Corrupt to the core. The REASON to become a priest or nun is much more to do with sexual perversion or emotional inadequacy than any pastoral concerns. Time to wake up. The RC only continues to “prosper” by brainwashing poor, ignorant people. If you don’t think you have been brainwashed, imagine you were born elsewhere and tell me what your “religious” views are. A warped system that only warped people benefit from. Accept the truth. Accept evidence and science. Stop being so fucking willfully stupid. It’s not you v us, it’s religion v everybody else. If you can’t see that you are as stupid as I think you are.

    • Pensionerbhoy

      Timetowakeup

      I can but pray for your sad mind. As I am not to be “so fucking willfully stupid”, please direct me to where I can be enlightened by all this understanding and intelligent criticism of religion that you have developed. I have read some warped descriptions of Catholicism in my lifetime but yours is the most uninformed piece of ignorance that I have laid eyes on yet. I take it you do not believe in the Christian ethic and what you can not believe must automatically be vile in your eyes. Well, in Christian charity I will respect your opinion, “crackers” though it be.

      • Robert Smith

        It is very strange reading these posts to see how the majority of Paul’s followers profess to be loving Christians and how they expout the virtues of the catholic faith in loving their fellow man yet can show such hatred towards a particular football team and its fans.

    • ecojon

      @Timetowakeup

      I never ever realised before that Nobel Prize Winners posted on Paul’s Blog – quite amazing.

    • bfb

      It is because I accept evidence and science that I accept the faith as objective truth. I wrote a book about that very topic including the views of Einstein which commended the relationship of the Church to science including many scientific discoveries made by people in religious orders. Remember for example the Big Bang Theory was first postulated by a Catholic Priest or look at the scientific work of Teilhard de Chardin and many others. The idea that Catholicism is not based on reason can only be based on ignorance of what the truth is. My experience of theology in an academic setting during my recent return to study as one of many mature students from all over the world and of many different backgrounds is that it is certainly intellectually rigorous and demands rational reasoning.

      You have the right to think as you do but are deluding yourself if you think that your position is a priori superior to that of those with faith.

      • Dave S.

        Seems to me if the faith is objective truth, it becomes science i.e. knowledge, and ceases to be faith. Or am I misunderstanding? Which parts of ‘the faith’ are objectively ‘true’? Is your faith objectively truer than others?

        • bfb

          I am more than happy to tell you but a comprehensive answer is beyond what is possible within the confines of a situation such as this particularly when I do not know your situation and present state of knowledge. What I can say is that the actual teachings of the Church ( those officially promulgated and not some of the myths that people maintain about the teaching) comprise a wholly integrated system from which official policy and pronouncements necessarily follow. I would regard books such as the Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin written as a scientific rather than Christian work to be persuasive. The major works by Jacques Maritain (the Degrees of Knowledge in particular) also are good apologetics and surveys of different ways to truth. The atheist project founders at the very first step where it demands abiogenesis ( implying a series of events simultaneously combining to produce the impossible feat of producing a cell with all its functions and requirements in place and operating from dead matter, dna. I can accept Evolution from the single cell onward but not before that) but notand ultimately demands an infinite numbers of universes to avoid the need for God. The longer the new Physics proceeds the nearer it gets to what Augustine said 1600 years ago about the ultimate nature of things. Have a look also at what Eddington said about the procrustean bed problem in physical descriptions of the World. Anthony Flew’s book (There is a God) after he followed the arguments all the way to his conversion to theism is good also.

          I have become long winded and not mentioned Sevco or other germane matters, but that perhaps illustrates my point about the impossibility of brevity in such matters even when I do no go into the theological implications of the later music of John Coltrane or that of Messian or the writing of Dorothy Day or eter Maurin in particular………….

          • Dave S.

            Thank you for taking the trouble to reply. The problem I have is when you talk of ‘the Church’. Might there not be theologians in some parallel protestant, jewish, muslim, not to mention buddhist universe who might say much the same about the teaching of their church (etc.)? Are they wrong?

            Most people belong to the faith group of their ancestors, so to me it is a cultural rather than a scientific phenomenon. And while I am happy to accept there may be a supernatural explanation for the start of the universe, I can not honestly see why a supernatural phenomenon should take a particular interest in me personally, or why I should worship it.

            I am content with the view that faith is fine for those that have it, all faith organisations are at best highly suspect, but science is better left to sceptics.

            • bfb

              I am in the unusual position that I been able to talk at length and in detail to many of the varieties of non Catholic Christian theologians to which you refer and to have read a great deal of theological work and am struck not by the differences between us but the similarities.

              You say science is better left to sceptics. I do not know what you mean by that. It is certainly possible to be a good exponent of scientific method as a religious person. The scientific method has produced many wonderful things but that cannot be taken as providing proof of the underlying nature of reality which remains a mystery to us and there are many ways of living with that mystery.

              But what do I know Darwin regarded my kind as untermensch and the indigenous Scot as being at the very top of the evolutionary tree when he says

              ‘The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman, fed on potatoes, living in a pig-stye, doting on a superstition multiplies like rabbits or ephemera the frugal foreseeing, self-respecting, ambitious Scot, stern in his morality, spiritual in his faith, sagacious and disciplined in his intelligence, passes his best years in struggle and in celibacy, marries late, and leaves few behind him. Given a land originally peopled by a thousand Saxons and a thousand Celts, and in a dozen generations, five-sixths of the population would be Celts, but five sixths of the property, the power, and the intellect, would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons that remained. In the eternal ” struggle for existence, it would be the inferior and less favoured race that had prevailed, and prevailed by virtue not of its qualities but of its faults, by reason not of its stronger vitality but of its weaker reticence and its narrower brain.’

              Although to be fair to him he took out the bit about potatoes………….

  8. LuoAnLai

    Guys in dresses accuse guy in dress of something, preventing him from voting for the new top guy in a dress.

    Innocent until proven guilty. Should be everywhere and anywhere, but not it appears in the club run by the top guys in dresses.

    I don’t understand why anyone, except the guys in dresses, really cares.

  9. JOHN BURNS

    Stonewall,s prints are all over this revelation as their ‘payback’ for the Cardinal’s forthright views on homosexual marriage.

    The homosexual lobby in the UK is very strong and vindictive and punches enormously above its weight, mostly due to its infiltration and influence in all media platforms.

    Stonewall, Thatchel et all, are in favour of the age of consent being reduced to TWELVE years of age – nuff said there.

    Will the vast ‘silent majority’ in this country ever find their voice? We ‘walk on eggshells’ if ever we dare express an opposing view on homosexuals and islamists.

    Finally, there,have many wonderful Welsh Rugby captains over the years, Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett,JPR Williams,Jonathan Davies, Ieuan Evans, all honoured and held fondly in memory; however one from 2007 suddenly comes out and tells the world he is queer and he immediately becomes a TV celebrity – Big Brother, Dancing on Ice, all the lowest common denominator dross – pathetic!!!

    • Night Terror

      Have Stonewall got any history of falsely accusing people of homosexuality? I’d be very surprised if they had.

      You certainly should be walking on eggshells if you base your comments on homosexuals, Islam or anyone else on no evidence.

    • roorback

      JB, you only need to walk on eggshells if your comments on homosexuals and muslims are false, slanderous, offensive, crude, etc, you get the picture. Perhaps if your “silent majority” were actually silent (rather than loudly boorish and homophobic) then the “homosexual lobby” wouldn’t need to punch above its weight to make their points heard.

      I wasn’t aware of the queer rugby captain changing career to dance, that’s quite charming really. Why do you care about this?

    • Maggie

      @John Burns
      Homophobic and sectarian ( anti Islam )
      Next thing you’ll be telling us all Muslims are suicide bombers.
      Where is your Christian charity,apologies if I’m assuming you are
      are Christian.Let me rephrase and ask,where is your common decency
      and tolerance of those unlike yourself.
      Homosexuals have the right to be treated like every other person
      in terms of human rights.The world has moved on,thank goodness.
      Your use of the word “Queer” tells me you haven’t.

      I fail to see your point re the rugby player.Are you suggesting he
      “became” gay to become a Z list celebrity ?
      For many gay people,coming out is a traumatic business and many
      sublimate their true nature because there is still the feeling in
      society that it is something shameful and they genuinely do not
      want to be gay.This is the crux of the matter,you are not gay
      through choice,but by birth.It is who they were born to be.
      Maybe it took years of unhappiness and denial before this person
      had the courage to be who he really is.

      I have no personal axe to grind here.Like many young adults
      my children have gay friends,one of whom is very dear to me indeed.
      I tend to see the issues through his eyes and that of his partner.
      Two more wonderful human beings you could not wish to meet.

      Again not assuming your religion,but one catechism answer from
      my childhood is worth repeating.
      God made me in his own image and likeness.

    • willy wonka

      Did the four priests concerned in this matter phone up Stonewall rather than place their complaints with their Church ?
      Nonsense !

  10. The fu99ie Dew

    Good article Paul.

    It’s hard for me to understand why priests have accused the Cardinal, doesn’t Jesus teach forgiveness? Why would a priest (let alone three) want such a public flogging of a fellow man? – Well I suppose the Cardinal is in good company as Jesus was handed over to a public flogging also.
    -There’s something fishy about these claims and there timing.

    I sigh with pity at those who cry out to church leaders/laity “your hypocrites”! – I don’t know many non-hypocrites, I can be one too. Trouble is the church acts as a divine mirror in its teachings and brings to light the failings of the secular world. Too many people out there cry for justice and don’t realise justice will visit them one day, it’s a pity some cant see the bigger picture, this world is not a bed of roses, everyone has to suffer, whether justly or unjustly.

    “Take the log out your own eye before you take the splinter out of your brothers”

    • Night Terror

      “It’s hard for me to understand why priests have accused the Cardinal, doesn’t Jesus teach forgiveness? Why would a priest (let alone three) want such a public flogging of a fellow man? – Well I suppose the Cardinal is in good company as Jesus was handed over to a public flogging also.
      -There’s something fishy about these claims and there timing.

      I sigh with pity at those who cry out to church leaders/laity “your hypocrites”!”

      Maybe they felt they were wronged and it was eating away at them that O’Brien was making public pronouncements in direct contradiction to what they knew of his private behaviour?

      I’d prefer we held people to account for their behaviour in their lifetime rather than trust some deity of your choice to sort it out upon their death.

      • The fu99ie Dew

        • Something only eats away at you when it’s unforgiven.

        • I do agree people should be held accountable for their actions.

        • My main point being; the priests in question are not practicing what they preach either. Yes they were grieved, but at twenty when someone approaches you you deal with it, if advances don’t cease you take the available actions to thwart it.

        On abuse; I can speak from experience, I was abused when in childhood (not by any member of the Catholic Church) and I had to learn how to forgive, my anger caused me all sorts of problems while growing up, it was in forgiving the perpetrators that I was set free. You’d be surprised at the amount of abuse that goes on and the levels organisations go to to hide accountability, I’m amazed its only the Catholic Church that is news worthy in these case types. As Paul wrote; it is a church for sinners striving to break free of their inadequacies looking to Christ for guidance and help – it sure helped me break free from 22years of pain, now I’ve had 7years if joy!

        • roorback

          I rather think this should be your main point instead “I do agree people should be held accountable for their actions”.

          You took 22 years to reach a resolution to your abuse, shouldn’t these priests be allowed as long as they want or need too? Or does their profession and age mean they forfeit human rights for Catholic subservience instead?

          “… if advances don’t cease you take the available actions to thwart it.” Unless the abuser happens to be the only person that can control your career as a young priest, in which case it may be prudent to shut up. In my opinion, the Catholic church is not well regarded as a body that takes accusations against its clergy particularly seriously. I am aware that this entire situation may be a complete fiction or conspiracy and that O’Brien is, in law, innocent. However, if there is any truth to the allegations do you genuinely have faith in the church to deal with it appropriately 30 years ago?

          • The fu99ie Dew

            I agree the grieved should be given all the time they need, but most importantly it is support that would best serve them. So the questions I would ask is; did they get support?

            Yes it took me 22years to resolve my issues, that was only achieved through the Catholic Church – You won’t see that in a news headline.

            Your point regarding them needing ‘their’ time to resolve issues baffles me (there must be more to this) as I received counselling & healing from the same church. This brings me to realise there are individuals within the church (or other organisations) that carry there own agenda and not the doctrine of that particular body/group that many are served well from.

            • roorback

              It would be interesting to find out if counselling was offered to them or whether any approach was actually made by these priests to their authority figures. I suspect that we will not find out the entire truth either way (not because of conspiracy but just because that seems to be the nature of things).

              I do believe that the church can do much good as you have demonstrated in your post however, your situation is a little bit different in the sense that your healer was not also your abuser. (I guess I should stop talking in terms of abuse as I have no idea what actually went on).

              I’m not sure what bit baffles you about my post, but I likely read too much into what you wrote. I thought you were saying that since these events took place when the priests were 20 years old then they should have dealt with it at the time and not bring it up 30 years later. But I think that is unfair to them, if it takes 50 years to face up to what happened then so be it. If bringing the story to light now is done with the intent to cause the most harm to the church or just O’Brien then that is a bit distasteful but c’est la vie.

              The overarching point I would suggest is that a Cardinal of great influence who holds severe views on homosexuality may in fact have been involved with men. If this actually occurred then did O’Brien report these transgressions to his boss (not anonymously in confession in exchange for 10 Hail Mary’s)? Most likely not as he knows that the Catholic hierarchy takes a dim view on homosexuality.

  11. cam

    OT, but relevant and welcome.
    Leggo, for once,is spot on in his article today.Can the morons who sing these vile songs, please try to get their carer to read this to them and form a hate club singalong underwater.

    • Raymilland

      @clarkeng

      Sorry to be a nuisance, you have yet to fully address the subject matter of an earlier post.

      “The facts are that people can harbour resentment based purely on emotional perceptions because they want to rather than on real or actual persecution.”

      I think you have introduced a valid point with your comment above, although used in context to deflect the reason for such resentment.

      So given your logic; some people have genuine reason to feel resentment; while some may feel aggrieved perhaps due to hysteria or another deep rooted problem with their psyche.

      As you well understand; catharsis can only be found by addressing the underlying issues.

      You know, I know, the boiler hoose cat knows; the ‘Pearl Harbour’ event in the history of division of CFC & RFC was the sectarian policy at Ibrox.

      You claim to have more of an insight of the subject matter due to the scope of your family connections; if you deem there to be an alternative pivotal event, perhaps initiated by CFC; feel free to purge.

      Then again, as you so rightly point out; the facts are that people can harbour resentment based purely on emotional perceptions because they want to rather than on real or actual persecution.

      Perhaps you are unwilling or not emotionally prepared to accept the fact that your club invented the Punch & Judy show……a parlour game of Consequences.

      As already mentioned earlier; RFC must make genuine effort to stamp out the mob mentality of some of their fans. The posturing and lame criticism from within Ibrox is utterly void of credibility unless their words are followed by action. The technology is available to solve the problem; those accountable should loose their right to hold a seat in the stadium.

      As I understand; RFC do not hold full membership to the SFA; their licence to play football in Scotland is held only at the discretion of others. If there was ever a time when RFC should demonstrate some decorum; that time is now.

      • Clarkeng

        @Ray
        I did read your previous response a short time ago and have just read this.
        At work at the moment and will be home about eight and will respond further then.
        But….. I keep saying this……..in this country we have the freedom to say, sing or chant what we want to.
        That in itself is manifestly evidenced on here.
        The fact that some people are offended by what we say, sing or chant can only be remedied by punishment by the relevant authorities.
        In itself punishment does not take back the expression nor it seems from clear experience does it have any prospect of eradicating it.
        Yes the clubs can remove season tickets but all that happens then is the yobs buy tickets from pals or go to pubs to watch the matches.
        The same singing, chanting and offending opinions will still be expressed.
        I hear what you say and I understand from your explanation why you say it.
        I do not agree with it.
        Your route in strangulating the basic right of freedom of expression takes us away from Shangri La and Utopia to the world of 1984.
        That is not a world I would like to live in.
        That said yes if someone did level any type of insult at me or at my family you are correct in assuming that I would apply some corrective or in my eyes defensive measure which would likely lead to a further burden on our NHS.

        • Raymilland

          @clarkeng

          No brave new world then?

          According to you; “in this country we have the freedom to say, sing or chant what we want to”.

          Afraid not old son; your argument is flawed from the off; yes you can most probably get away with the above in the privacy of your own home; not in a public arena.

          You say you’re at work; is that in this country?

          You undermine your own argument by stating: “The fact that some people are offended by what we say, sing or chant can only be remedied by punishment by the relevant authorities”

          You further comment would demonstrate an utter lack of willingness to address the issue; “In itself punishment does not take back the expression nor it seems from clear experience does it have any prospect of eradicating it”. Alternatively; it could be said that a slap on the wrist never cures anything. What type of punishment are you on about?

          You express your preference to retain the right to freedom of speech (fair enough). However; you are confusing the issue of freedom of speech and social disorder; those are two very different issues which are miles apart. Don’t get me wrong; you are welcome to go to the pub or somewhere out with a football stadium and chant whatever you choose; until your ears bleed for all I care (I defend your right to do so).

          I have no idea what you are talking about when you say; “Your route in strangulating the basic right of freedom of expression takes us away from Shangri La and Utopia to the world of 1984.
          That is not a world I would like to live in.”

          Come back to this planet for a minute; all I’m looking for is a better environment to bring up my kids; is that too much to ask?

          Read your own post through again; it is utterly defeatist to any attempt to improve matters; and all the while taking the moral high ground of protecting individual rights.

          Your response is a load of clap fecking trap!

          • Clarkeng

            @Ray
            Yes working in Glasgow today.
            Not taking any moral high ground just stating facts.
            The fact is that Human Rights are now by far the most protected rights in this country.
            You dont like my opinion – so what?
            People disagree – thats life.
            Your opinion is your opinion and mine is mine.
            I am prepared to listen to yours without resorting to name calling or criticism.
            I dont agree with it but acknowledge your right to express it.
            The very fact that the chanting it still happens in football stadiums including Celtic Park proves my point.
            Some of the chanting which takes place there is actually by foreign nationals who come here with the specific intention to promote bigotry under the pretence of following football.
            They have football in their own country let them do that there and not pollute our streets.
            It only becomes social disorder when someone complains or the police consider taking action then it becomes public nuisance.
            You said in another post I was looking for Shangri La or Utopia because of my views but you are advocating 1984 Orwellian style control to stifle or remove the rights which are now enshrined in law.
            No Brave New World more like Lord of the Flies.
            If you want to create a better world for your offspring start by teaching them tolerance and understanding and encouraging them to take up the opportunites we are fortunate to have in this country.
            And which we all enjoy equally.
            Passing on resentment will only create another generation of haters and people who feel persecuted where no persecution exists.
            Finally I am far from contradicting my own argument – if people are offended by said chants the only remedy is to contact the police.
            They will then decide whether a crime or nuisance has been commited and they will pass this for verification to the Procurators Fiscal.
            Then it will go to court for “the slap on the wrist” you mention which will probably be a fine or community service.
            Will that stop the perpetrators?
            I think not.
            Alternatively the Police will decide to do nothing or perhaps have a wee chat to advise them to be good boys.
            Will that deter them?
            I think not.
            I live in the real world and it is not pretty some times.

      • willy wonka

        Raymilland – ” You know, I know, the boiler hoose cat knows; the ‘Pearl Harbour’ event in the history of division of CFC & RFC was the sectarian policy at Ibrox. ”

        Did that Pearl Harbour event exist in the years before before Celtic were formed ? In the years that Rangers were playing football in Scotland before Celtic arrived and brought religion and Ireland into the equation ?

        • Raymilland

          We are here now; get over it!

        • How could the “‘Pearl Harbour’ event in the history of division of CFC & RFC was the sectarian policy at Ibrox” happen before Celtic were founded?
          But either way it is well documented that Rangers early years were not defined by a sectarian stance but they certainly adopted such c. 1912…

          • willy wonka

            Quite simple – it didn’t exist until the formation of Celtic.

            • Steven brennan

              Wonky
              At least you are admitting it does exist.
              Your argument is flawed, a bit like saying nobody was a rascist until they met a foreigner.
              Rangers have never ever signed or played an irishman since before celtic were formed up till now.
              And once again as I have told you before Norn iron doesn’t count

            • Maggie

              @Raymilland & Steven Brennan
              Like I’ve said before guys,they condemn themselves out of
              their own mouths.
              “it’s your fault we’re sectarian,everything was tickety boo here
              in bonnie Scotland until you great unwashed arrived with your Papish
              mumbo jumbo and gave us no option”
              God,do they accept the blame for ANY of their wrongdoings.

  12. allyjambo

    Paul,

    It is indeed a sad time for Scotland and in particularly for those of the Roman Catholic faith. In a world where our small country has so little input, it is a great loss that we should lose the services of a man in such a place of influence within a church that has massive influence throughout the world. I suspect the Catholic Church will miss the input of a man brought up in our wee country, where he had to live side by side with so many different faiths, and could, therefore, be expected to have a better grasp of how others see his church, and so influence a greater joining of minds on how to tackle the ills of our world.

    I am not a Catholic; I was christened in the Church of Scotland, but have never had anything bordering on a ‘religious faith’; but I have many catholic friends, and family, who will be effected by this turn of events and I am genuinely saddened for them. I know, Paul, from your previous writings on the subject, you are a deeply devout Catholic, and I realise this must have come as a shock to your system, but I am sure it will not knock your faith one little bit. I hope all the others on here who share your faith can be equally stoic in the face of the criticism of your church, and glee at your discomfort, that will come your way over the next few weeks/months until the media frenzy dies down. I suspect, and this is just as saddening as the event itself, that those from a less pleasant form of protestantism will use it as a cover for the continued embarrasment of their football club.

    • willy wonka

      Steven – once again you got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Yes, there was no problem until the formation of Celtic.
      Therefore, the formation of Celtic caused the problem.
      No Irishmen ?
      ” Four players from the Republic of Ireland have been on the books at Glasgow Rangers. Alex Stevenson made 12 appearances for the club and later managed the Republic of Ireland. Alex Craig made 144 appearances of the club in the early twentieth century and also played for Ireland in 1908. James McAuley was on the books at Rangers in the first decade of the 1900’s. The other player was Reuben Evans but not a lot is actually known about him. ”
      And that’s not to mention the ones who refused to sign for Rangers due to the “problems” that might cause their family back home.

      • allyjambo

        WW,
        I’m no expert on Irish history, but wasn’t the Republic set up in 1916? The years you are able to quote are all well before then. Can you explain, therefore, the point you are trying to make?

        • Budweiser

          ally

          Republic set up in 1922 after the war of independence. The Easter Rebellion happened in 1916.

        • willy wonka

          Certainly, Steven said that Rangers had never played “an Irishman” before or since Celtic were formed. He also said that Northern Ireland doesn’t count.
          Prior to 1916 everybody over there [except the wimmin and weans of course] were “Irishmen”.
          We’ll be getting the ‘nobody up until Mo Johnstone’ garbage next too I’m willing to bet. Lol.

  13. Monti

    God bless you Cardinal O’Brien, you are in my thoughts & prayers, we all make mistakes in our lives,throughout our lives it’s human nature,where would we be without forgiveness & compassion, Catholics in Scotland will be united alongside you at this time. God bless the pope!

    • willy wonka

      I hope there’s a thought and a prayer for the four priests involved and that Catholics in Scotland will be firmly united alongside them too.

      • Raymilland

        I’m sure you will say a prayer on their behalf.

        • willy wonka

          Not being a religious chap I won’t be saying any prayers.
          However, glad to see you recognise that the victims in this incident are the least in the thoughts of Monti and his ilk.

      • Pensionerbhoy

        ww

        My priests are always in my prayers. Why would I say any special ones for the four you mention. Has something happened to them that I and many others have not heard about or are you ASSUMING there has?

        • willy wonka

          Look Bhoy – you and the others can delude yourselves as much as you want but Cardinals do not get booted out of their job a week before voting for a new CEO simply for swearing or forcing a young priest to drink a hauf when he doesn’t want to.

          • Pensionerbhoy

            ww

            Two points. One, “booted out” is another assumption and one that even the most biased press has not insinuated. Two, there are times when debate is impossible given the premises being argued have no basis. I have made my final statements to you on this issue.

            • willy wonka

              Bhoy, he was booted out. Required to resign. Call it what you want. He got the heave straight away.
              Two ? As posted, this was no minor indiscretion. What it was, we don’t know the full details of. But given 4 young priests were involved and he was handed his P45 at such a momentous time for his Church, even you would have to admit it wasn’t for stealing the cream off the top of the milk for his cornflakes.

  14. cam

    Due to Paul being busy doing two jobs at once, he has kindly agreed that i should run the site for a few days.
    Mick, consider yourself in moderation.
    Eco,take a holiday.
    Cam,more posts please.
    Ray and Clarkeng stop bickering,i hate arguing!
    Maggie,milk, no sugar please.

    Now, tomorrow’s blog will be held outdoors in my garden.The LNS barbecue, celebration party, is all ready and all meat has been checked for horse DNA.If Lord Nimmo decides to dispense bull,then all bets are off.
    There may be a slight bias in the coming weeks and an unhealthy obsession regards all things Celtic,but the first person to accuse me of being a “rabid,dirty,orange, pope hating,masonic barsteward” will be held up to ridicule and be placed on the hate list.

    Now carry on and spread the love.
    Cam “Kissinger” blue nose.

    • JimBhoy

      @Cam Kissinger, great post, I for one would never call ya ‘Dirty’ 🙂

    • Cam,
      Ive DNA tested your comments and they are 100% horsesh1t!!
      🙂

      All of the trophies that any of the Rangerses have won whilst Ally was manager will be ordered removed. :o\

      seriously tho’…
      In terms of correcting the titles ‘won’, I think it will be maybe only one or two SPLs, should rulebreaking be found re fielding ineligible players.

      Questions abound around what to do if many instances of fielding ineligibile players occurred. Prize money might be asked to be returned, but who should justly be asked for it.

      The chapter of the Notice of Commission that includes the charge of fielding ineligible players, is over a timespan that includes the 2008 UEFA Cup run. How this would be viewed by the numerous opponents in Europe that season is in question. That’s a can of worms.

      Action could be taken against club officials too. The individual people who should have ensured that rules were not broken could be in the firing line. It was mooted elsewhere in the blogosphere that for both the FTTT and SPLIC the result was known in advance by the parties, but with the FTTT a couple of those involved were happy to make a statement/give an interview in the run up to the release – maybe something could be read into the contrasting current ‘radio silence’.
      Personally, I don’t put much significance on this.

      All will be revealed…

      • cam

        Chico and Ally were reportedly seen in a field near Auchenhowie carrying a sack and spades,,,,probably means nothing

      • I’ve looked at the evidence (as we know it) from a Rangers perspective and still cannot reconcile ….. for example …. how the EBT’s were altered when circumstances changed ….. like in the instance of injury and insurance cover kicked in the EBT or Loan was altered to account for this. Further, it was shown how they were renegotiated on players leaving so as not to disadvantage the palyer in negotiations with other clubs then the question of interchangeability between the Trust Arrangement and Payroll, and finally …….. the request for and the grant of tax indemnity suggests a tacit understanding existed between the employer and the employee that the funds made available through the trust arrangements ….might… be a form of payment that could give rise to a tax liability, and the granting of the indemnity was the employer’s acknowledgement of this risk …… The employer being Rangers.

        Sorry, but anything other than loss of titles for ALL the years this this was found to be operating will have to be removed, fines applied (to Oldco) and further sanctions applied …… Anything less is a cop-out.

        Stick that in moderation Cam ………….. !!!!

        • cam

          Never in all my hours of hosting a high class site as this, have i read such poorly prepared nonsense.
          All this talk of tax liability and indemnity completely misses the most valid point,which,to your credit you do at least mention.This is probably unintentional on your part,as this diatribe of half baked Chinese whispers,blog site innuendo and wishful thinking,would do credit to the most rabid of biased, agenda driven, commentors in here.
          Trust,,,,,,,that is the word!
          The entire scam,sorry plan! was based on Trust.
          Rangers trusted the players,their agents,the SFA and the guy in charge of the shredder.
          This entire commission,the witch hunt by CFC’s lawyer,costing at least £400,000, is the result of the abuse of said trust.
          I have in my hand, a sworn statement from the DVLA in Swansea,thats in Welsh Wales for the removal of any doubt!
          This monumental document ,which i intend to hand personally to Lord Nimmo,along with a blue nose burger,at 11.45 tomorrow,shows quite clearly that all the players were properly registered to drive their club cars on the dates concerned.
          Now as we all know company cars are a taxable perk and if properly registered as these undoubtedly are ,are therefore in the clear as regards LNS.
          Your tone, and pathetic attempts to muddy the waters alone, are worthy of moderation.
          But if you are so intent on discrediting yourself by pursuing this argument, then proceed with caution.

        • arb urns

          fine stuff newtz………. but there are legal minds making the decision so standby, these guys never take the clapham omnibus…… have u ever read lord glennies decision

    • LNS has forecast some excellent weather to roast some pigs. His barometer shows rising pressure in the south of the city, providing perfect conditions for hanging out dirty washing., although expects stormy weather to follow follow, which may result in structural damage. Thunder will roll over the city from the east, bringing howling derision and hail hail.

      • cam

        Awrite Sean Batty,could be a massive area of depression in the east,with hopefully a gale force wind blowing right up Rod McKenzie’s Trossachs.

    • Budweiser

      cam

      I take it you have a side letter from Paul to confirm the contract?

    • arb urns

      strewth c, will pass on yer lee mculloch burgers n’ lanarkshire blue in a bun.

      did henry k not predict at the start of the ebt period there would b no gers fc at the end of ten years or was it israel. a cannae just mind.

      nice wee effort at yer own nobel above btw. can picture the good lady at this very moment slaving over the ‘singer’ repairin the buntin in her new gers tap, in prep for the morrow.

      • cam

        Rabbie,you,being an Arab can have camel toe salad with mange tout.
        If Henry thinks that Israel will outlast the Gers then he reckons without Walter”Moses” Smith.
        The place will look like Haghill on the 12th of July, if Cap’n Nemo does his sworn duty!

    • Yay …. lets party while Pauls away ! …… Looking forward to some interesting guest posts ….. . Give the site a make-over cam yer “rabid,…….etc……….. barsteward” ….. gosh, feels good to get take off my chest without being put into moderation

  15. JimBhoy

    Might be new shirt and sponsor day tomorrow too, although Chico may hold that back a day if he gets a result tomorrow for max impact….
    Personally I think things will be positive from a rangers perspective if it breaks tomorrow as the SFA couldn’t find their @rse with either hand..

    If Chico was made two offers 1) lose 10 pieces of silverware off rangers history or 2) take a £10k fine for every game deemed to have a player breaking rules (as they are the same rangers) I wonder what he would take??? Mmmmm!!!

    • Raymilland

      @clarkeng

      So the problem as you see it is primarily caused by foreign nationals, how convenient to your argument. Also it would appear from what you say; no crime has been committed until the perpetrator is identified, that’s a novel way to cut the crime figures.

      I’m not sure what you mean by our “rights which are now enshrined in law”? Although you would appear to have changed your mind in regard to our freedom to; “sing or chant what we want to”. What’s it to be then, does the current law in Scotland outlaw sectarian chanting in football grounds or not?

      Having spoken to the boiler hoose cat again; he agrees that passing on resentment will only create another generation of haters.

      For better or worse we all live in the “real world”; yep; it’s mighty ugly at times. The so called ‘beautiful game’ sometimes contributes to the problem, you are correct to assert that the involvement of the police will not fully rectify matters. The relevant football authorities must take more stringent approach of the problem.

      Do you honestly believe that I am fooled by your ‘what’s to do?’
      attitude; you are fooling no one.

      It would appear that some would prefer to revel in the past; while the rest of us are to forgive and forget the transgression of bigots?

      To turn the other cheek is very noble; but only a fool would be prepared to endure verbal onslaught in the comfort of their home while tuned to Sky sport.

      I think you may soon find that ordinary decent folk are not prepared to put up with it any longer.

      Perhaps if given the choice; certain fans would prefer to continue to follow fourth tier football indefinitely; as long as the vile chants continue?

      Docking of points, now there’s another constructive idea to deter the louts. Why am I not surprised that you found that too difficult a notion to form all by yourself?

      Where there’s a will there’s a way; btw; Charlie the boiler hoose cat agrees.

  16. cam

    High noon!,,is Santa coming to the Tic with his sack full of cups? Will they try a financial penalty on Chico? Will LNS decide that that some paperwork was mistakenly omitted due to a communication mix up?
    100,000 Bears linking arms around Ibrox,,,,they shall not pass.
    There’s gonna be some big fun tomorrow!
    Mick will be like a wean on Xmas eve.
    Paul could be up in front of the judge for not being prepared due to some moonlighting.

    • I’m sure, like a good Rangers man the weather will not deter your BBQ and the menu is already planned. Whether you use a sweet or bitter relish, I hope your steak is pure coo, and your sausages cooked through.

    • arb urns

      ye sound kinda chipper cam, cocksure almost , u perhaps sent miss japan round to nimmos and have a confession to make …..

  17. 12 minutes , roll of honour a song prasing terrorists , 28 minutes , bhoys of the old brigade song prasing terrorists …… I wonder if the selective hearing brigade will condem these disgusting songs , maybe it’s a conspiracy or those big hunnish hoardes singing to get septic into trouble .

    • Raymilland

      @carson

      Charlie the boiler hoose cat says you’ve to consult clarkeng; he knows how to deal with this singing and chanting malarkey.

  18. diaryofafailedhuman

    Jesus wept! How quickly this can descend to petty football rivalries when it concerns no such thing.

    I take your points, Paul and, as always, respect your viewpoint. As a former Catholic, I left the Church years ago as I became intolerant of their intolerance and found their views to be incredibly antiquated with regards to equality.

    Important to remember that these are allegations at present; nothing has been proved. I am sure Cardinal O’Brien has done many great things in his lifetime (I found his views on marriage within the priesthood to be incredibly refreshing), however, his intolerance to homosexuals was particularly distasteful. The Cardinal’s sexuality (alleged or otherwise) does not interest me; his denigration of others does though. For that alone he should be shamed. I would of course forgive him, were he to atone for his sins.

  19. lordmac

    the bishop lets the church down glad he has admitted this

    • Jimmytwolegs

      He has resigned and admited that his “sexual conduct” was unbecoming of a priest. What was INAPPROPRIATE?

      This could range from walking about with an erect penis and making homo-erotic suggestions, to a pastoral man maybe hugging a fellow man who is distraught, and maybe carresing his face in a tender way. Either way it may be that the cardinal is guilty of no more than being gay and this is what the church ( and the new pope ) must address.

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