Mary McAleese has urged Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien to speak openly about his homosexuality.
Former Irish President Mary McAleese told the Royal Society of Edinburgh that Keith O’Brien should open up about his life story, in hopes that it would help others who felt the need to hide their homosexuality.
Last year, O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh after several priests made formal complaints claiming that he had engaged in “inappropriote behaviour” with them. Although he admitted that the allegations against him were true, he said the reason for his resignation was “for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance”.
McAleese said, “I would have thought Cardinal Keith O’Brien, in telling the story of his life – if he was willing to do that – could have been of great assistance to gay people, not just in the Church but elsewhere, who felt over many, many years constrained to pretend to be heterosexual while at the same time acting a different life.”
She also heavily criticised the Catholic Church for it’s attitudes towards members of the gay community in general. “Things written by Benedict, for example, were completely contradictory to modern science and to modern understanding, and to the understanding of most Catholics nowadays in relation to homosexuality,” she said.
“I don’t like my Church’s attitude to gay people. I don’t like ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. If you are the so-called sinner, who likes to be called that? We also know that within the priesthood a very large number of priests are gay.”
“Nowadays, it is not something that is perceived as something that is intrinsically disordered. Homosexual conduct is not seen as evil.”
Prior to his resignation, O’Brien was an extremely outspoken opponent of gay rights and was even named ‘Bigot of the Year’ by Stonewall UK.
Read Rob Buchanan’s opinion piece on Mary McAleese’s comments.
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