Catholic cardinal applies bully-boy tactics over gay marriage in Scotland

JUST one day before shocking statistics regarding gay bullying in Scottish schools were released, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and the most senior Catholic in the UK, engaged in a bit of bullying of his own.

Onward Christian Soldiers: Cardinal O’Brien is leading the ‘War against Gay Marriage’ in Scotland

On Sunday, the posturing fool threatened the Scottish Government with an “unprecedented backlash” if it did not back down from its plans to legalise same-sex unions.

And he pledged to spend a further £100,000 on an advertising campaign against gay marriage. This is on top of the £50,000 the Church has already spent in its battle against marriage equality in Scotland.

O’Brien had earlier described same-sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion”. In December, he said the introduction of Civil Partnerships had been a mistake, arguing the law should never “facilitate” same-sex relationships.

These measures were not in the best interests of our society. The empirical evidence is clear, same-sex relationships are demonstrably harmful to the medical, emotional and spiritual well-being of those involved, no compassionate society should ever enact legislation to facilitate or promote such relationships, we have failed those who struggle with same-sex attraction.

A day after the cardinal issued his threat, Stonewall Scotland published a report indicating that Scottish schools were doing little to combat homophobia.

Stonewall’s investigation is the first-ever study the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual schoolchildren in Scotland. Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland said:

The report shows the stark reality of the situation in our schools today. It is very worrying that only 11 percent of our respondents hear their teacher repeatedly challenge homophobic bullying when they encounter it. There is clearly a major issue in Scottish schools about tackling homophobia.

More than half of the young people who took part in the study – which follows similar research carried out for Stonewall UK last week – said they had experienced homophobic bullying in school, with one in four reporting that they tried to take their own life at some point, and more than half deliberately harming themselves.

Half of those surveyed didn’t feel they were working to their full potential at school and seven out of 10 admitted skipping school at some point because of homophobic bullying.

Yesterday, the UK gay humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), expressed its “great concern” at the findings of the Stonewall report:

The new report published by Stonewall has shown some improvement in the level of homophobic bullying in schools since its previous one published in 2007. However the report, entitled The School Report: The experiences of gay young people in Britain’s schools in 2012, has found that the issue remains widespread, and continues to be a greater problem in religious schools than elsewhere.

PTT Secretary George Broadhead, added:

This is a deplorable situation and the fact that the problem is greater in religious schools is not at all surprising. Hardly a day goes by without some report in the media about religious hostility to LGBT relationships and rights and some of it, like that from the Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, is sustained and downright vicious. All this is bound to have a bad influence on both teachers and pupils in the ever-increasing number of religious schools.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

34 responses to “Catholic cardinal applies bully-boy tactics over gay marriage in Scotland”

  1. Angela_K says:

    “…same-sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion”. This from an organisation that covers up child abuse.

    As if we needed more evidence of the real aims of the catholic church, not to use their obscene wealth to help the needy but to waste it in a campaign of hate.

    O’Brien looks a right nasty bit of work and miserable git.

  2. Yewtree says:

    How can he say that there’s “empirical evidence” that LGBT relationships are harmful?

    There’s empirical evidence that Catholic priests are harmful, right enough, but I’ve never seen any evidence of harm in LGBT relationships. He’s completely out of his mind.

    The evidence from Stonewall about bullying of LGBT kids in schools, particularly faith schools, is yet more evidence that faith schools are harmful.

    I’m glad to say that the Accord Coalition (a group which includes liberal religions such as Unitarians, Quakers & Liberal Jews) is campaigning actively against faith schools and their excluding behaviour.

  3. Ivan says:

    A polio vaccination costs 8p per dose, measles 14p and meningitis 30p.

    £100,000 would pay for 1,250,000 children vaccinated against polio or over 700,000 children vaccinated against measles or nearly 350,000 children vaccinated against meningitis.

    Either that or a hate campaign against two people of the same sex getting married in a civil ceremony.

    What would a normal person choose?

    The man is sick.

  4. Broga says:

    He doesn’t consider the stress and destructive effects of attempted celibacy on Roman Catholic priests. The Roman Catholic Church stands revealed as an immoral organisation, awash with criminality and attempts to hide it, and I don’t think the grisly O’Brien is in any position to advise anyone on how they should behave.

  5. Graeme says:

    Anecdotal or imagined does not equal empirical, so while I’d love to hear all about the good Cardinal’s empirical evidence I suspect it comes from a 3000 year old work of fiction.

  6. The Woggler says:

    As a believer in empirical evidence, I’d love to see his evidence for a wafer becoming human flesh and wine becoming human blood when magic words are spoken.

  7. JohnMWhite says:

    When I was at a Scottish Catholic School, the senior staff condoned and even encouraged bullying – they saw it as a great corrective tool. If you were being bullied, it was because you were doing something wrong, like being a goth (Satanic!!) or being camp (a faggot!!) or asking too many questions (an atheist!!). Naturally they lied through their teeth to anyone outside the school, claiming laughably that they had such a robust no-bullying policy that they had no reports of bullying, ever. This was true, but only because they refused to accept any reports of bullying and shouted at you to go away if you ever tried to make one.

    This is what people like O’Brien want. They like bullying, they thrive on it, because it is the only way in which they can enforce their own brand of how to be on everybody else. It is how Catholic schools operate, and one of the executives of the Scottish Catholic Education Service told me to my face that bullying is a fact of life and that I should grow up and accept it. This was when he was a high school principal, in charge of the well-being and development of around a thousand students. You can see why he got a promotion.

    I’m giving very serious thought to a letter-writing campaign. A polite one, but a firm one, that makes no bones about the fact that the SCES and the Catholic Church in Scotland are coming off as vicious, dangerous homophobic bigots whose primary goal is to hurt gay people and anybody who does not conform to their ideals, not help society. Anybody else interested?

  8. Har Davids says:

    The RC church is supposed to be in financial trouble, yet there’s money for the fight against same-sex marriage. And maybe the cardinal should spend some time with gay people, married or not; if accepted by society, they don’t need to ‘struggle’ with same-sex attraction. A dollop of compassion is just what the LGTB-community needs, not the lies this cardinal and his cronies keep on spreading.

  9. Harry says:

    I would love to see this empirical evidence that gay sex damages the spirit.

  10. Don says:

    There is certainly empirical evidence that being LGBT leads to emotional damage. The Stonewall report, for example. Plenty of empirical evidence that being bullied by bigots is emotionally damging.

    How the hell do you get empirical evidence about spiritual damage? Does he even know what empirical means?

    Medical? As he didn’t cite any actual evidence I’m guessing he means AIDS or possibly damage associated with anal intercourse. But lesbian sex surely has the least risk of any sexual activity. And one could as easily say that STD’s show that heterosexual sex causes medical damage.

    The RCC is in no position to threaten or to take any kind of moral high-ground, but go ahead. Every day more and more of the former faithful see you for what you are.

  11. AgentCormac says:

    Personally, I’d also love to see empirical evidence for the so-called holy trinity. One being that is three beings? Sounds like schizophrenia to me.

    The RCC is becoming so demonstrably out of touch, so visibly governed by panic management it almost makes me optimistic. O’Brien merely adds to that smug, warm glow.

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    @JohnMWhite: Letter-writing campaign? Your posting strikes a chord, as I experienced similar things. What to write, who to write it to?

  13. JohnMWhite says:

    @Matt Westwood – I was thinking of writing to the Cardinal himself, with copies possibly to the offices of the Scottish Catholic Education Service on Clyde Street (also the seat of Conti and the Archdiocese of Glasgow). While I imagine the Cardinal will ignore them unless they get particularly voluminous, both the Cardinal and the SCES have been outspoken against gay marriage and in favour of their right to cause pain and suffering to homosexuals. If anything, at least they will experience a bit of pushback for their callous disregard for the well-being of the vulnerable they are supposed to be caring for.

    As for what to write, I’d try to avoid a litany of abuses that I have witnessed first hand and concentrate on two core issues:

    1) their obsession with homosexuality is so great that they would rather spend enormous sums of money on it than dealing with any other problem in society. Where are the bishops and Cardinals speaking out about thieving banksters and vicious austerity measures? Where are the huge donations to campaigns to feed the hungry? One particular social issue they clearly don’t care about is bullying in their schools, where being allowed to tell students that gay people are bad and condoms spread AIDS is more important than helping or protecting the children they have in their clutches. For that they literally have blood on their hands.

    2) their rampant dishonesty and plain making shit up to try to scare people into fearing The Gays.

  14. Matt Westwood says:

    Okay, I’m on it.

  15. Well done Cardinal O’Brien. People need to wake up to the fact that homosexuality is not a norm. There can be no equality; a male cannot conceive and bear children.
    For a journalist to describe a leading church figure in the way that he did is simply deplorable and says much about the journalist himself.
    And, if people think that this is homophobic let me spell out the Catholic Church’s views on the matter:
    We deplore the sin of homosexuality but not those who commit these acts.

  16. Angela_K says:

    Richard Collins, you are a bigot, catholic apologist and troll. Homosexuality is normal in both humans and other species – do some research and read some books other than your hate filled bible. You quote the catholic church as though it still has some authority, it does not as more people realise your church is the biggest crime syndicate in the World and barrier to humans rights.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    Richard Collins

    Much as you don’t want it, there will one day be equality for all people and it will be found, sooner than you think, in the ashes of your religion’s demise. In the meantime, take your church’s revolting, hate-filled doctrine and kindly shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  18. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    @Richard Collins:

    What difference does it make that a male cannot bear children? Lots of women cannot bear children. Older people of both sex’s cannot bear children.

    And yes, your comments are homophobic. Homophobic and bigoted. The fact that they are the catholic church’s views just shows how homophobic and bigoted they are.

  19. JohnMWhite says:

    “We deplore the sin of homosexuality but not those who commit these acts.”

    That’s a lie, though, as evidenced by the church’s endless attempts to cause real, material harm to homosexuals across the world. It is beyond childish to try to argue along these lines while trying desperately to stop gay people from living their lives and trying just as hard to cling to the perceived right you vicious bigots have to tell vulnerable youngsters that normal biology is sinful and causes eternal punishment, leading to hateful and oppressive atmospheres in Catholic schools. “Hate the sin, not the sinner,” is the most pathetic smokescreen I’ve ever seen – might as well take one puff from a cigarette for how well it actually obscures your blatant bigotry.

    Frankly, I cannot help but believe that anybody left in the Catholic Church at this point, if they have access to any form of media that makes plain what the church is truly interested in and what it has been up, is actively supporting child abuse and the psychological torment of anybody determined to be ‘sinful’. You’re terrible, terrible people, and if Jesus ever existed he would weep at your warped and perverted sense of priorities. Cardinal O’Brien deserves no respect for being a leading church figure, for he is a leading figure in the world’s largest paedophile ring. Get it through your head, Mr. Collins – your church deserves no respect, it is contemptible.

  20. AgentCormac says:

    If anybody would appreciate an opportunity to let Richard Collins know just how much they don’t like his repugnant catholic opinions, you will find the deluded twat and his hate-filled view of the world right here. Just use the comment facility.

  21. Broga says:

    @Richard Collins: You seem to live in a world of fetid superstition. Can’t you grasp that celibacy is a perversion which goes against nature. So much so that priestly celibacy, or their attempt at it, merely drives them into lies, deceits and subterfuge. With the endemic paedophilia of your church, and the contemptible efforts of the Vatican to hide this at the expense of innocent children, you really need to learn some humility. You are living a fantasy, in thrall to a tyrant fantasy God and obeying the dictat of a discredited and increasing pathetic Pope. He now seems a sad, lost figure amidst the manipulations of the Vatican.

  22. ZenDruid says:

    Homosexual behaviour is natural in the real world. Religious behaviour, not.

  23. shieldsheafson says:

    The metaphysics underlying natural law theory that marriage is, not by human definition, but as an objective metaphysical fact determined by its final cause, inherently procreative, and thus inherently heterosexual.

  24. JohnMWhite says:

    The metaphysics are completely wrong, though. Marriage was created by human societies and has existed in countless incarnations all across time. That’s a fact. Even the bible describes and accepts a variety of marriage forms that is far from one man and one woman. Even if we were to, for no apparent reason, accept the particular Christian idea of ‘objective metaphysical fact’, their own holy book makes plain that even their god doesn’t see marriage the way they argue he does now. In short – they’re making it up.

    I find it hard to believe this is simply a case of ignorance, either – learned men like popes and cardinals have to have actually opened their bible once in a while, along with a real history book, and they are fully aware that their metaphysical shenanigans don’t bear out in reality. It’s a cover, a transparent lie that they hope will obscure their simple-minded bigotry.

  25. remigius says:

    The metaphysics underlying natural law theory that marriage is, not by human definition, but as an objective metaphysical fact determined by its final cause, inherently procreative, and thus inherently heterosexual hogwash.

    Fixed it. Stick to cooking, mate, and leave the philosophy to the grown-ups.

  26. Ewan says:

    Moral guidance from a man in a dress and a gold hat that lives in castle? Pass.

    Also, Richard, you say “hate the sin, not the sinner.” I, thankfully, have no such restrictions. I’m free to hate you and your creepy death cult in equal measure 🙂

  27. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    I had a look at that blog. Aaaaaaaargh! The Stupid, It HURTS!

  28. AgentCormac says:


    Loathsome, isn’t it? And on a par with the likes of Hutton and ‘Birdshit’ Green. I have tried to post a couple of comments on his blog but, as you might expect, Mr Collins has declined to publish them. But then, as I mentioned in my last unpublished comment, the RCC does loves censorship.

  29. JohnMWhite says:

    To be fair, a comment of mine appears to have been allowed to stand, as a reply to the post titled Traditional Catholics and Self Inflicted Wounds.

  30. Broga says:

    I had a look at the Collins’ blog. He, and his faith community, seem to live in a parallel world where they self refer to their weird superstitions. Just reading the comments felt mentally suffocating, detached from the freshness of facts, freethought and reality. A very strange group, that lot.

    If it were not for the religious aegis they would be considered to need help – of a psychiatric nature.

  31. stokebruernehuman says:

    There is something suspiciously unhealthy about the rantings of this unsavoury individual. Its not the bullying tone nor the self absorbed righteousness. Its the morbid obsession with the sex lives of other people by someone who is so mentally crippled by his primitive beliefs that he has voluntarily and publicly forfeited a healthy sex life. The image of this man guiltily spilling his seed in a dingy cloister and then crossing himself in guilty self hating shame is not a pleasant one. He hates that others, who are far more honest about sex that he, are having such a wonderful time. Its essentially jealousy. The knowledge that someone somewhere is having fun that is denied to him is the source of this man’s rabid hate.

  32. Broga says:

    It isn’t just homosexuals that the rabid catholics will persecute. Give them enough power and they will persecute any group that does not subscribe to their fantasies. I was struck by this while reading a reappraisal of JFK – Rethinking Kennedy. When the RCs were in an influential position in Vietnam they victimised the Buddhists.

    Give them the power and most of the people writing on this site would soon be tied to a stake, dry brushwood up to their waist and a priest heading towards them with a lighted match.

  33. Robster says:

    Whay are these over dressed idiots always quoting “empirical evidence” to back up their claims when they can’t even offer “empirical evidence” that their hate filled god actually exists? How hard can it be..if there’s a godly being of some sort, supposedly powerful etc why not a qick jot of evidence, empirical or not? Nothing fails like prayer and nothing does hate better than a church and its deluded followers.