22nd February: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the most senior Roman Catholic in Britain, tells BBC Scotland that he would be ‘very happy’ if priests had the ‘opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married’.
24rd February: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the most senior Roman Catholic in Britain, is accused by four priests in his diocese of ‘unwanted behaviour’, ‘inappropriate conduct’ and an ‘inappropriate relationship’.
25th February: Keith O’Brien, disgraced former Cardinal, has resigned as head of the Scottish Catholic church.
Readers may draw their own conclusions about the information provided above. Yet even as someone holding such an apparently liberal stance with regards to the celibacy of Catholic priests, the ex-Cardinal was previously named ‘Bigot of the Year’ by Stonewall, the LGBT rights charity. He also attracted the ire of pro-choice group Marie Stopes International, which described his views as ‘deeply worrying’. In light of Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s controversial resignation, The Backbencher would like to provide a tribute to the man in the form of reliving some of his most ‘thoughtful’ and ‘insightful’ observations:
On gay marriage legislation
‘…a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right…’
‘…imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that no one will be forced to keep a slave…’
‘…will both teacher and pupils simply become the next victims of the tyranny of tolerance?’
‘…a social evil…’
‘…an unspeakable crime…’
‘…two Dunblane massacres a day…’
In his full resignation statement, O’Brien wrote:
‘For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended.’
Presumably that doesn’t include the tyrannisers of tolerance and pro-choice murderers. His 28-year reign as Cardinal shall be beatae memoriae, as Catholics would say.