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Gay rights group says O’Brien should apologize for ‘vicious, cruel language’ about gays

Monday, March 4, 2013

LONDON — Britain’s leading gay-rights group said Monday that Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who stepped down from church leadership after admitting sexual misconduct, should apologize to gay people for his years of “vicious and cruel language” about them.

O’Brien has not directly addressed the allegations against him — which include “an inappropriate approach” to a seminarian after night prayers and “inappropriate contact” with another priest — but acknowledged Sunday that “my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.”

Keith O’Brien

“To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness,” he said.

O’Brien, 74, had been a staunch advocate of church teaching against homosexuality, calling same-sex marriage “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” and saying that British government plans to legalize same-sex marriage would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world.”

Stonewall UK Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said Monday that the gay rights group noted “with sadness that the cardinal didn’t find it in him to apologize to gay people, their families and friends for the harm his vicious and cruel language caused.”

O’Brien resigned last week from his position as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh after being accused of inappropriate behavior by three priests and a former priest.

The Scottish Catholic Media Office said the complaints against O’Brien had been reported to the Vatican, and it expected there would be an investigation.

But the Vatican refused to confirm or deny Monday whether it was investigating O’Brien, and declined to say when it learned of the allegations against him.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, repeated his statement from last week, which was that the original four accusers had sent their complaint via the papal ambassador to Britain, and the pope had been informed.

Pressed to respond to reports of a purported fifth accuser, who reportedly approached the Vatican directly in October with accusations, another spokesman, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, read O’Brien’s statement and said the Vatican would say no more.

Until his abrupt resignation, O’Brien had been due to join cardinals from around the world in Rome for a conclave that will elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The cardinals met Monday, without O’Brien, for the first of their pre-conclave meetings.

Last year, Stonewall named O’Brien “Bigot of the Year” for his hard line on homosexuality.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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21 more reader comments:

  1. Apologize? He shoudl be tried for inciting violence against people.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:12am
  2. im shocked…#sarcasm101

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:13am
  3. He’ll be too busy enjoying his retirement engaging in all the gay sex he can get to apologize.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:13am
  4. Who needs an apology from a sexually dysfunctional self loathing, disgusting deluded hypocrite in prada?

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:14am
  5. it never ends those who protest has something to HIDE!

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:17am
  6. Just more proof that the most avid homophobes, are usually very deep closet cases themselves!!! ;P

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:18am
  7. d bAG OF THE WEEK!

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:18am
  8. Burn him at the stake as his kind have done to us before!

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:19am
  9. A bona fide apology from this putz would have to include an out of every hypocritical fornicator among the exsalted Princes of the Church until the whole corrupt hiararchy comes crumbling down.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:19am
  10. As I am a firm believer of rights, I am always troubled when groups demand peoples apologies of their opinions or speech. If one is to be accepting of others and an advocate for equal rights, Shouldn’t The freedom of speech be for both parties? Whats is being said may not agree with ones views yet does that person not have the right and equal oppritunity to express their own beliefs. If ones rights are being violated then yes I agree in punishment or apologies to be given, but words are just words, and words cannot violate your rights.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:20am
  11. In the end, he has been exposed as a fraud. A fraud to himself and to others.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:21am
  12. Too bad he wasted his entire life lying to himself and the world.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:23am
  13. Drew Newell:
    Hate speech, inciting violence, and threatening people with torture, are all examples of speech which is not protected by our constitution.
    Why is it suddenly protected speech because it’s “what someone believes”? Why is it all of a sudden ok to wish torture on someone…when that torture is eternal?
    It isn’t, on any count.
    Also, it seems illegal to be part of a body of tax exempt organizations and then still inject yourself into our political discourse.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:24am
  14. And if someone thinks homosexuals are diseased, immoral child molesters who shouldn’t be extended any rights at all, and should be thrown into endless fire and pain, they can go ahead and think that.
    But if you teach that opinion to children, and shout it from a pulpit where you influence the hearts and minds of people who vote and own guns, then you’re not innocuous anymore, and your opinion is endangering me. And I don’t care about what you think your rights are anymore.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:26am
  15. I dont need an apology from this worthless loser. just the fact that he had to resign in shame and further prove that his entire faith and life as a man of god was one long joke is good enough for me. that his reputation is destroyed in the eyes of the people who worshipped him is music to my ears.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:27am
  16. Isn’t he supposed to be burned at the stake?

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10:01am
  17. why are we asking apologies from people who will never mean it…we just have to forgive him and move on. I never want empty apologies

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 10:09am
  18. I’ll be holding my breath

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 11:00am
  19. Yeah he can’t spread hateful words of bigotry then expect the LGBT community to instantly have his back. A meaning apology is highly needed.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 11:54am
  20. i wish in the early days when racism was on the agenda to be made illegal that i had an apology from all them people (when i came to the west from india) who called me a paki, wog, spat on me and those who beat me up!

    no such luck, so am surprised that any of these people will apologise as unfortunately for the gay rights movement – having a choice is not illegal!

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 3:05pm
  21. Where to begin with such a person…? I get the impression that a lesson in self-awareness would be a good start. I suspect his universe is too small to really comprehend how he is seen from outside it.

    Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 3:21pm