Keith O’Brien, Cardinal Implicated In Gay Scandal, Admits Sex With Priests

6a00d8341c730253ef017c3715cb47970b-800wiFormer Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the outrageously anti-gay crusader who stepped down after being accused of "inappropriate acts" with other priests, admitted today that, yes, he did all of the things he denied only a week ago, including coercing subordinates into sexual situations.

His statement:

In recent days certain allegations which have been made
against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and
non-specific nature led me to contest them.

However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have
been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards
expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.

To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness.

To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.

I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no
further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Considering the amount of time O'Brien spent spreading lies about gay people and fighting LGBT rights, is an apology enough?


  1. says

    And yet again someone loud in his condemnation of gays and who has condemned our right to marry and have children, or to have relationships turns out to be a raving hypocrite.
    This is not an apology, he just wants to slither away from his rank two faced lies.

    I think of all those kids,especially, who have felt useless outcasts and have felt belittled and ashamed by the demonic rantings of bigots like this worthless charlatan. I think of all those kids bullied by the self righteousness of this toad.
    I weep for those children who have been denigrated by this scarlet Prince of the Church.
    Wow, you and your Church call us “intrinsically disordered” ?
    Incredible, just incredible.

  2. Thomas says

    @Jackfkntwist: Couldn’t have said it better myself. This is a non-apology to those who were really affected by his hypocritical behavior. All he cares about is offending people with his “sin.”

  3. UFFDA says

    ” I will now place myself on contract to behead the retired Pope and then, returning to Scotland, throw myself off the walls of Edinburgh Castle in a pink plaid kilt.”

    That might do.

  4. northalabama says

    hasn’t any public figure learned how NOT to offer a sanctimonious, half-hearted, non-apology, yet?

    apologizing to “those i have offended” is not enough. start by acknowledging your actions as wrong, and apologize for those actions, whether or not anyone was offended. period.

  5. Lymis says


    I have no particular issue with gay priests sleeping with other gay men, priests or not, who are on an equal footing with them and able to freely consent. Hell, I’ve slept with a couple.

    That’s all he’s “apologizing” for. Not for behaving in a predatory way toward seminarians who were being taught to hate their sexuality, and no doubt leaving them torn with guilt over it.

    And not a word about all the people he’s damaged by being openly and actively homophobic and throwing the entire weight of his office behind not only condemning them, but getting the law to support that condemnation.

    I won’t say I’ll never accept a sincere apology from someone who admits his wrong. But he has to start at a bare minimum for actually apologizing. And what he’s apologized for is only the tiniest, least significant part of the evil he did.

    He’s apologizing for getting caught. That’s just vile.

  6. Ripped Mittens says

    Are there times when a prelate’s sexual conduct can meet (or even rise above) the standards expected of a priest, archbishop and cardinal?

  7. Vint says

    Well, yes, as others have said, he’s apologizing for the wrong thing. His offense is disseminating a message of hatred and discrimination against gays, not that he has sex with men.

    But most striking is that he can’t seem to apologize even for the wrong thing without lying. Specifically, he says, “Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them” when he ought to have said “Like most Catholic prelates caught with their pants down, my first impulse was to lie my ass off.”

  8. Acronym Jim says

    Retiring? Why isn’t his ass being excommunicated if homosexuality is such a grievous sin?

    Oh right. He’s a cardinal, not a member of the laity.

  9. andrew says

    One of the reasons that Keith O’Brien and the rest of the Catholic Hierarchy are so opposed to homosexuality is because many if not most of them are closeted homosexuals. The only kind of homosexual relations they have engaged in are secret and dirty. Sins to be atoned for. They have no understanding that two same sex people can love freely and openly in uplifting and mutually supportive relationships.

  10. says

    If he pulls a Mehlman I might consider it.

    Acts of contrition trump mere words. And, as to that, has this ex-cardinal said anything to atone for his ill behavior? So far it’s less apology than noises meant to distract.

  11. shanestud says

    I’m not excusing or offering an apology for this Cardinal who preached against gay rights and s-s marriage. However, people must understand how the RC Church works and that’s the even sicker part is the Vatican’s requirement of absolute obedience.

    In 2003, as a condition of assuming the rank of Cardinal, he was forced to issue a public pledge to defend church teaching on homosexuality, celibacy and contraception. He was pressured to make the pledge after he had called for a “full and open discussion” on such matters. They silenced him.

  12. Craig says

    “In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.”

    Huh? You mean THOSE priests I forced into sex? Oh, I thought you meant some OTHER priests.

    Good grief. More likely it was “Oh, there’s video.”

  13. Jerry6 says

    Considering the number and Rank of all the Clergy that we discover did not “practice what they preached”, I wonder why anyone bothers to go to church each week and put money in a collection plate so these men can live without going out and earning a living as we poor ordinary people do. All Religions are based upon “Fear of the unknown” before we understood anything about the “Laws of Nature”. It is obvious that these “Sinning” Priests do not believe any of the nonsense they preach every week from the pulpit. If they did, they would not be doing everything they are accused of.

  14. Jimmy Palmieri says

    His apology came to be, because he was caught. Had he not been caught, he would have lied until the day he died. He has ruined so many lives with his evil words against gay people, that there isn’t enough time on this earth for him to correct the damage he has done. If there is an afterlife, the one he believes in, he will be rotting in the cauldron of the hell of his own belief.

  15. JEFF YORK says

    He should be telling all those priests he had sex with to resign too. They obviously can not keep their vows. And they should not be doing any counseling to questioning youth.

  16. renovato says

    There is no contrition visible here by Bigot O’Brian – he tried to subvert Scottish democracy, by threatning Scottish Ministers with electoral defeat by mustering Catholics to vote against the ruling SNP, and any other partys members who voted to support Equal marriage – a campaign from involving school children to funding a widespread effort in churches and the media, through lies and missinformation and junk “research” from the far right. The fact that Scots Catholics are “canny scots” like the rest of us it was not likely to succeed is beside the point he tried to do it.
    He has now been exposed as a hypocrite as well as a homophobic bigot (an award he was given by Stonewall last year, well done)and an abuser of power for sexual entanglement with those under his charge, hes just admitted as much.
    No apology could meet this abuse and besides he has not retracted one bit of his denigration and vilification of gay people he targeted and his vile remarks about their (our) caring and loving relationships including marriage.
    “for those I have offended” – not even close cardinal – offended does not cut it for me – villified, denigrated, verbally abused, threatned, attempted to shame,lied about,slandered – apology not accepted and not forgiven.
    If your god exists in your head Cardinal O’Brian, I hope he is wreaking vengence.

  17. Jesus says

    The anti-gay Christians are trying to stop LGBT people from having sex, it is a crime they can not stop their own priest from having sex with or raping children.

  18. StevyD says

    Now completely repentant, the runway is cleared for takeoff to heaven. But first, this Cardinal will take time, on his knees of course, in giving lingual ablution to his succoring Priests

  19. andrew says

    You can be sure that Keith O’Brien is not the only closeted homosexual Cardinal who has railed against homosexuality while secretly engaging in “inappropriate” behavior. And many of the others who may not have engaged in secret sexual acts themselves have covered up the criminal actions of priests who have preyed on the young. This kind of stuff permeates the entire clerical culture.

  20. Bob says

    I don’t recognize this as an apology, and wouldn’t accept it anyway. He is a liar, plain and simple. Not just once, but for years, nothing he ever says should have any credibility again. Slimy bastard!

  21. Ryon says

    Considering the virulent anti-gay nature of the catholic church, I have deep sympathy for this man. Who knows the depths of self loathing he must have gone through. This is one anti-gay bigot I’m willing to forgive, slightly.

  22. Liam SW says

    Another closet case, after doing all he can to hurt his fellows, admits to being in the closet and believes his responsibility ends there? Hell no.

  23. DMiner says

    This is a despicable man who spent his life destroying the lives of many young gay men who sought refuge in their spirituality, and spiritual direction from the Catholic Church. While fervently speaking out and campaigning against gay people, he was molesting his fellow trainee priests. As a Cardinal, he doesn’t get more senior in an organisation hell bent on dictating how others should live their lives. Somehow, to admit he “fell short of the standards expected” of him does not slice it. That is no apology and he should just go to hell.

  24. says

    1. It’s now time for all you young priests ( and anyone else) to come out of the closet and give the history of this hypocrite’s sexual saga. It’s time for those priests, and all priests, to have some courage.

    2. If there is a heaven and a hell this Cardinal and I are not going to the same place.

    3. We will force them all to eat their words, “intrinsically disordered”. Look at those gay Dads with their kids, with their love and protection of those kids and then let’s reach an objective consensus on who is “disordered” – that loving family or this lying manipulating closet case.

  25. millerbeach says

    I have a well-prepared message for the Church when they come calling for CSA $$$ (Catholic Services Appeal) NOTHING for the next four years. I will not give to the national fund until I see 1. A marked improvement in the behavior of the Church in regards to the 2016 United States Presidential Election…telling me to vote for a heretic? Really? A heretic? 2. Come clean, once and for all, with the pedophile priests…no more hiding, the jig is up, no pun intended. A LOT of house-cleaning will have to take place before you see another dime of mine. Bill Douehue, as leader of the American Catholic League, you should be doing more important things than going on You Tube with a bobble-head doll of President Obama and doing unspeakably vile things with said doll. For heaven’s sake, are you a nine year old boy? You act as such, and obviously do not need any of my money with such a lush office. Maybe if you weren’t such an ass I would have never known the luxury in which you surround yourself…would Jesus approve? 3. Quit turning people off with rabid rants on You Tube or any other public forum. I still am shocked that you wanted me to vote for a heretic! Good luck, as it will be much more difficult to secure funding since blundering about in the last presidential election.

  26. Rob says

    When an organization is as loathsome as the Catholic Church- institutionalized child rape, misogyny, homophobia, corruption- then we’re just splitting hairs on the ethical lapses of one compared to another. It’s like quibbling over deck chairs on the Titanic.

    That said, am I the only one who thinks this guy is kind of hot?

  27. clay says

    a pity , he is darn handsome though i am sure he will retire to a place that will help him i doubt this hes off now to explore his gay side in a very dramatic way lets look out for him on a gay cruise years ago meet him hm in London and we had a great night together

  28. ratbastard says

    I knew a priest growing up who eloped with a nun, they married and had at least 4 kids and lived happily ever after, so I know at least one priest was/is ‘straight’, but I think he was few and far between.

    I’ll be impressed when a European or American government [maybe Mexico or Brazil should step up to the plate] presses criminal charges against high ranking Vatican officials and demands their extradition. Former cardinals from L.A., Boston and elsewhere should be sitting in prison cells.

    Why otherwise rational people believe in the fantasies of religious dogmas. I guess because it fills a void and tells them things they want to hear.


    I agree with Vint,Jackfknfrost,Jerry6, and for Niles-I would not doubt that those priests that he sex with were molested prior to his encounter with them.(If not by him as children.)Has anyone seen Mea Maxima Culpa? HBO’s devestating expose on the Catholic cover-up? I wonder if Ratzi’s sudden announcement to “retire” just days after that aired was influenced by it. I have a hunch that there is a ‘time bomb’ of more evidence about to surface, and he is getting out of the fire-evil man-and a coward.

  30. says

    i think the most telling thing of all is that with every new day there seems to be another story exact like this.

    “did you hear about the sex scandal rocking the catholic church?”

    -which one(s)???

  31. Caliban says

    I really don’t have much sympathy for this man- he’s just another gay man twisted by his religious upbringing into promoting homophobia. It might be understandable in the very young, but inexcusable after a certain point. And if was coercing seminarians into sex he’s a sexual predator and that was the lamest possible “apology” for it.

    What’s really twisted about the whole thing is that for decades, perhaps centuries, the Priesthood was a repository for gay Catholic boys. “You don’t want to f*ck women? Congratulations! You have ‘a calling’ to the Priesthood!” Yeah, right.

    Once there, they are warped by religious dogma into hating themselves and condemning other gays, yet also trained to expect a certain entitlement to get away with their crimes of ‘weakness’ and hypocrisy, all protected by the church. The entire thing, from its ideological basis to its practice, is rotten to the core.

  32. Mike says

    I think this so called “ Good Man “ is a two faced user who due to the life he chose cant or wont face up to who and what he is…It seems he gets his “ Jollies “ coming onto those that are under him or those he trains i.e People unable to say no or were to frightened to say anything about what this man did to them when they were in there late teens early twenties’ for fear of what he may do to their careers.Remember we I’m sure have heard from but a few of the men this dreadful person abused.
    As if this were not enough this two faced “ Man of God “ has the audacity to stand up and rail against gay marriage and gay men …all this despite interfering with young men …this man should be brought to book..he wont be as he’s a “ man of god “. I firmly believe this man should be investigated not by the Catholic church that does such a stunning job in cover ups but by the police for misuse of power and interfering with minors.
    Yet again the Catholic Church who would have us believe all gays should be hung drawn and quartered despite their appalling record of Priests abusing children and sitting on huge amount’s of money while pleading poverty as the Vatican vaults are filled with un seen treasures worth untold amounts yet they will let this two faced abuser walk away free.
    I say well done to those men who had the guts to stand up and tell the truth.
    To there abuser I say “ Shame on you “ and in your own faiths words “ May you rot in the fires of Hell “

  33. Bill says

    Aside from the alleged sexual harassment, O’Brien was not all that bad relative to his peers in his church: according to ‘Before elevation to cardinal, O’Brien had been regarded as “liberal” on the issue of homosexuality, noting the number of homosexual priests in the Church. In 2005, O’Brien rebuked Bishop Joseph Devine who had suggested that homosexuals should not be allowed to teach in Catholic schools commenting, “I don’t have a problem with the personal life of a person as long as they are not flaunting their sexuality”.’

    Also, ‘In May 2005 he told members of the Scottish Parliament that homosexuals were “captives of sexual aberrations”, comparing homosexuals to prisoners in Saughton jail.’

    So, at least he didn’t claim that one’s sexual orientation is a choice and didn’t want to have people fired for being gay. He did criticize same-sex marriage, but as a cardinal, he’s supposed to speak for his organization, mostly spouting whatever the pope wants him to spout.

  34. Bill says

    @DannyEastVillage: it may be because of them that they have to elect a new pope.

    The handwriting on the wall was the graffiti on the Vatican bathroom stalls.

    Hey, at least it sort of rhymes and is good enough for a slogan, p[us it gets a Biblical reference in there to add to the humor.

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