The unexpected retirement of Pope Benedict quickly followed by the admission of Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien, that the accusations made against him were true despite having previously denied them vigorously, have left the Catholic Church in a difficult position. The press and media are having a field day and the Vatican has not covered itself in glory as it has emerged that the accusations against Cardinal O’Brien had been known to them some time earlier than the revelations in the Observer. It is salutary to think that had this whole distasteful affair not come to light Cardinal O’Brien would have been in Rome either choosing the next Pope, or possibly being chosen himself.
Sadly there have always been scandals of one sort or another in the Church (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Non-Conformist) and I suppose as we are all, by nature, sinful, there always will be. Never-the-less we have the promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against God’s Holy Church, The Gospels remind us that only those without sin should throw the first stone. I feel the greatest sadness for the Catholics in Scotland as they come to terms with the downfall of a much loved and admired person and I hope that they will be supported by our prayers and I hope also that Cardinal O’Brien will be the subject of our prayers.