Deposed Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien Had Long-term Gay Relationship with Priest Who Forced His Exit

Former Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the anti-gay crusader who stepped down after being accused of "inappropriate acts" with other priests, had a long-term relationship with one of the priests whose accusations led to him getting sacked, the Guardian reports:

ObrienOfficials in the Scottish Catholic church claim that the priest, who is alleged to be the first man to complain to the Vatican about O'Brien, left the priesthood in the mid-2000s but has since returned to the church.

These officials have told the Herald they believe that the man complained to the Vatican last winter in revenge for O'Brien's outspoken attacks on homosexuality and gay marriage, just as his career was coming to an end. He described homosexuality as a "moral degradation" and gay marriage as "harmful".

Immediately after the priest, who had known O'Brien for decades, submitted his accusations to the Vatican in late 2012, the cardinal was summoned to Rome and in effect sacked. Then Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and seen as the de facto leader of Scotland's 750,000 Catholics, O'Brien was told privately by Vatican officials that he would be expected to retire on his 75th birthday, which fell on 17 March.

The Herald adds:

One senior church figure said that while some fundamentalist Catholic groups had previously linked the priest with Cardinal O'Brien "there were many questions that others were asking about the relationship".

Another source said: "These guys, we now know, were part of an inner circle. In the 30 years since these allegations took place there's been ample time to complain. The Cardinal has had a huge profile for the past decade. But the door wasn't just shut on them, it was bolted in the past 18 months. I believe they wanted to silence O'Brien – as he's about to do another conclave, and make a huge deal of it. As he's retiring, a decision's been taken to go public and take him down."

Another said: "If you're asking me to describe what this is about in one word, it's revenge. I've no doubt the allegations did take place in the 1980s but they've come out to – destroy O'Brien."


  1. Alex Parrish says

    So what if it was just the revenge of a jilted lover? O’Brien’s vicious attacks on LGBT people deserve to be revenged and this is a very good way to do it; exposing his own hypocrisy. This is a GOOD thing that happened here; a hater has gotten his comeuppance.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    …and…I’m sure he’ll retire with all the perks of an archbishop and lead a prosperous and happy life unlike many LGBT people whose lives he made more difficult. Shame.

  3. Ryan says

    So consenting acts between two adults is grounds to force someone out of the church, but molesting children simply gets you a reassignment to another parish, also containing children.

  4. says

    There’s something stinking and it ain’t in Denmark! The old boy’s club atmosphere of the Roman Catholic kind is nothing new, just a little louder. Media,sports politics… they all have their cheats and falling stars. If people were more like litmus Paper… we would know who the hypocrites are. In the meanwhile, do you think their Bingo games are rigged?

  5. Tim says

    This guy is a perfect example of what is wrong with the organized religion. I just want to be so pissed at this man. He can call me names and damn me to hell, yet he has a squeeze on the side. I picture him as a damn dog in heat. Pretty gross picture, ain’t it!

  6. says

    Ah, the poor Cardinal….it’s just malicious revenge.

    Well, well, well, what a two faced stinking hypocrite this Prince of the Church turned out to be.
    None of these churchmen can face up to their sexuality…..but they all want to pillory those of us openly gay demanding equality.

    It is always the same cant, those who shout loudest are the ones with most to hide.
    Will this old gang ever learn some new tricks ? One would think that they would adapt to new ways of thinking, that they would reflect on their ruined hypocritical lives in the closet and do the decent thing at last.
    But no, they just condemn and condemn.

  7. anon says

    The problem wasn’t the LTR, it was the hypocrisy. However, to the Vatican, I’m going to assume it was the LTR that got him in trouble. To add salt to the wound, it’s not clear what role his sexually assaulting other priests before LTR had to do with his resignation.

  8. Randy says

    This is a good case for eliminating laws that let unhappy lovers get revenge on their boyfriends who are in different positions than them in their organization.

    Even scumbags deserve fair play.

  9. Jeff in CA says

    All these church officials tut-tutting about “revenge” as the motivation — I’d say the motivation was plain old DISGUST.

    This distorted excuse for a man had a long relationship with another man, and then is the loudest anti-gay leader in Scotland?! That’s a revolting example of hypocrisy and bullying, fools, and those men did a righteous thing in dragging his lying, powerful ass out of his princely closet.

  10. Jones says

    This to me is an example of self hate. There’s MANY gay people out there who HATE being gay, hate gays, hate the gay community, speak against gay rights yet they also engage in gay relationships and gay sex. SELF HATE is a disease. It truly is a cancer, but unlike cancer, those who suffer from self hate (especially gays with self hate) want to take down as many other people with them in their deadly misery.

    Stay far farrrrr away from gays who seem to have any self hate over being gay. They TRULY are a dangerous breed folks.

  11. andrew says

    Just imagine the level of hypocracy involved in preaching that homosexuality is a “moral degradation” while being involved in a long term relationship with a priest.

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