‘All the saints in heaven are on our side, so let’s bury O’Brien and get back to business’

THAT, in a nutshell, was the message delivered to the faithful in Scotland by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow and apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, following the sexual abuse … er drunken gay fumblings … scandal that engulfed closet queen Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who promptly resigned after his anti-gay hypocrisy was exposed and he went into hiding.


Tartaglia, left, and O'Brien

Tartaglia, left, and O’Brien

Tartaglia, in his homily for a March 4 Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow said:

We will draw what conclusions and lessons we can from it and, if anything, we will learn to trust even more fully in Jesus Christ who is alone the Lord of the Church.

He noted that the “credibility” and “moral authority” of the Church in Scotland has been marred by O’Brien’s behaviour.

He added that “many reproaches” have been leveled at the Church as a result of this episode, but the “most stinging charge” has been that of “hypocrisy.

I think there is little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow, and we will need to come to terms with that.

Although this “sad episode” will take “a long time” to recover from, Archbishop Tartaglia encouraged his flock to resist being defeatists and to:

Endure it with prayer and patience and hope.

Instead of “throw(ing) in the towel,” he said Scottish Catholics:

Need, rather, to renew our faithfulness in Jesus Christ and to go about our business humbly.

Even though the O’Brien affair marks a “sad moment for the Church”, Tartaglia tried to put lipstick on the pig by claiming that there will be “a wonderful moment of hope and joy” in the election of a new pope.


Overall, he encouraged Catholics under his care to keep in mind that they “are not alone as a Church”.

We are in communion with the See of Peter and with the whole Catholic Church. We are in communion with the Church throughout history. We are in communion with the saints in heaven. Through that communion, we will draw strength from Jesus Christ in whom we trust.

Meanwhile, Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, has issued a statement regarding O’Brien’s lame confession.

Cardinal O’Brien’s confession falls well short of what we expect from a spiritual leader. I urge him to show true remorse for his homophobia and hypocrisy by saying sorry to the gay community for the hatred he has stirred and the harm he has caused – and by publicly repenting his homophobia.

He should make amends by dropping his opposition to marriage equality and by beginning a new affirmative ministry to gay Catholics.

Tatchell added:

By his own admission, the Cardinal stands exposed as a hypocrite. He preached against homosexuality in public while seeking its delights in private.

Cardinal O’Brien’s admission of sexual contact with men torpedoes the credibility of the church’s bigoted stance against homosexuality. It also undermines the campaign against same-sex marriage.

It will be very difficult to take the opponents of marriage equality seriously now that this senior spokesperson has admitted that he did what he preached against.

The Cardinal is a troubled man. I pity and sympathise with him. I hope he will receive supportive counselling to help him deal with his decades of deception, and enable him to come to terms with his obvious self-loathing and deeply repressed homosexual desires.

Hat tip: Asad Abbas (Pontiff ad)

20 responses to “‘All the saints in heaven are on our side, so let’s bury O’Brien and get back to business’”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    What an utterly, utterly crass and worthless response – totally lacking in anything of substance, abjectly devoid of anything that even attempts to explain, excuse or justify what has happened, and conspicuously bereft of the leadership and vision which I’m guessing most normal, everyday catholics will be desperately hoping for in such depressing circumstances.

    As such, I am greatly encouraged.

    You might hope that most catholics would be scratching their chins and wondering what’s the point in being part of the RCC if this is the best it can offer up in the face of such betrayal of trust and faith. But sadly, most of those who still count themselves as part of the ‘one true faith’ wouldn’t be able to contemplate life outside its confines.

    As usual, better the devil (or god) you know.

  2. Ivan says:

    I for one think you very harsh, I mean, according to Robert Piggott on the BBC Ten O Clock News last night, Tartaglia and his crew are all wearing the Purple of Penitence. Yes, the Purple of Penitence, what more do you want for 2000 years of lies, child rape, hate speech, oppression and burning heretics at the stake? They’re wearing purple I tell you, purple!

  3. JohnMWhite says:

    Bishops always wear purple. Do they even cringe when they realise what nonsense they spout, or do they remain eager to defend the world’s largest paedophile ring with every breath on the BBC?

  4. Paul DeMunnik says:

    Cardinal O’Brien’s belated and vague fessing up
    Reads like a spin doctor’s dressing up
    Until the mea culpa has a maxima added
    Any apology is going to sound vapid
    So come clean, beat your breast and quit messing up.

  5. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    JMW, you only have to read Bellords comments on the other thread to get the answer to your question.

  6. […] View post: All the saints in heaven are on our side, so let s bury O Brien and get back to business […]

  7. Marky Mark says:

    (Bullet-proof Ice Cream Van, Silly Hat, and Red Slippers supplied)
    …LOL !!

  8. Marky Mark says:

    Frequently Asked Questions: Electing a New Pope

    Q. Can you please explain what the heck is going on in Rome?

    A. Well, Pope Benedict XVI retired and now Catholic Cardinals from around the world are congregating to elect a new one.

    Q. When was the last time a pope retired?

    A. Thursday.

    Q. No, before that.

    A. July 4, 1415. Gregory XII stepped down to head off on a hot weekend with his brother- in- law’s sister’s seamstress’ pool boy in Sardinia.

    Q. What does he do now? Write a book? A little consulting for some downtrodden cult?

    A. Maybe, but knowing the Catholic Church, he probably had to sign at least a three year non- compete.

    Q. Who gets to vote for the new Pope?

    A. All Cardinals under the age of 80 not currently under indictment are allowed to vote.

    Q. Which leaves how many?

    A. About 8, 9. No, actually, it’s around 115.

    Q. What’s the deal with the smoke?

    A. After each vote, the ballots are burned. If no winner is picked, a chemical is added to make the smoke black. If there is a winner, no chemical added- smoke remains white. Green smoke is just some priest encouraging Romans to recycle.

    Q. Any idea who will be elected?

    A. Most likely a guy. Probably some cardinal. Brazil? Stay tuned.

  9. charlie says:

    Fat chance that o’brien will ever deliver a really truthful, sincere apology to the gay community of the world.
    Yes, he IS a very, very troubled person. How could he not be? Here we have a cardinal of the rcc who preached intense hatred of all gay people and yet, he was engaging in “gay” sex with junior priests at the same time he spewed this hatred of all gay people. Man, that alone would screw any half way sane human for about the next 5 life times alone.
    I am NOT making any excuses for this rat bastard in any waym shape, or form. Just pointing out that he IS a very, very troubled person.
    He should be held to account for his vile crimes of spewing hatred and destroying the lives of countless people. He does not deserve any sort of pity though.
    Just my own opinion. But, hell, I am an atheist, so what do I know?

  10. Robster says:

    “Through that communion, we will draw strength from Jesus Christ in whom we trust”. I wanna know how people can “trust” a dead, long decomposed jewish bloke who may not have ever existed. Bit like “trusting” the Tooth Fairy to leave a dollar under the pillow, which is more likely than the baby jesus/god fantasy doing anything.

  11. barriejohn says:

    The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:2 — Greek Text). The damned are thus excluded from the communion of saints. The living, even if they do not belong to the body of the true Church, share in it according to the measure of their union with Christ and with the soul of the Church. St. Thomas teaches (III:8:4) that the angels, though not redeemed, enter the communion of saints because they come under Christ’s power and receive of His gratia capitis. The solidarity itself implies a variety of inter-relations: within the Church Militant, not only the participation in the same faith, sacraments, and government, but also a mutual exchange of examples, prayers, merits, and satisfactions; between the Church on earth on the one hand, and purgatory and heaven on the other, suffrages, invocation, intercession, veneration. These connotations belong here only in so far as they integrate the transcendent idea of spiritual solidarity between all the children of God. Thus understood, the communion of saints, though formally defined only in its particular bearings (Council of Trent, Sess. XXV, decrees on purgatory; on the invocation, veneration, and relics of saints and of sacred images; on indulgences), is, nevertheless, dogma commonly taught and accepted in the Church. It is true that the Catechism of the Council of Trent (Pt. I, ch. x) seems at first sight to limit to the living the bearing of the phrase contained in the Creed, but by making the communion of saints an exponent and function, as it were, of the preceding clause, “the Holy Catholic Church”, it really extends to what it calls the Church’s “constituent parts, one gone before, the other following every day”; the broad principle it enunciates thus: “every pious and holy action done by one belongs and is profitable to all, through charity which seeketh not her own”.

    More here (much, much, more!):

    “You don’t have to be mad to worship here, but it helps”

  12. barriejohn says:

    When I read that Alex Salmond had been sympathising with the poor, tortured soul (ie the abuser, not the abused, just to clear up any confusion), I thought that I would check out the allegation:

  13. tony e says:

    I don’t know if it was just me, but I don’t recall either O’Brien or Tartaglia actually saying sorry to the priests who were abused.

    They have, in fact, studiously avoided saying it.

  14. barriejohn says:

    What fucking world does Salmond inhabit?

    “In all of my dealings with the Cardinal, he has been a considerate and thoughtful leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, stalwart in his faith but constructive in his approach.

    “It would be a great pity if a lifetime of positive work was lost from comment in the circumstances of his resignation.

    “None of us know the outcome of the investigation into the claims made against him but I have found him to be a good man for his church and country.”

    Beg pardon?

  15. Doubting Thomas says:

    It was interesting to see the packed congregation of er around 30 or so in the Cathedral. Says quite a lot about how the message is going down.

  16. […] ‘All the saints in heaven are on our side, so let’s bury O’Brien and get back to business’:… […]

  17. sailor1031 says:

    Thanks Barrie, but that’ll be quite enough. Definitely don’t need more of that.
    BTW I don’t recall ‘exponent and function’ from the parsing of passages in English Grammar class. Silly me – I thought we did that in math class. Well, now I know. Once again RCC Inc has corrected the wayward among us. So sorry!

  18. JohnMWhite says:

    To be fair to Salmond, he has to say that sort of thing if he doesn’t want the likes of Ken, Nicolas and Mary to politically string him up. Catholics in Scotland are notoriously vindictive and among the Catholic communities with which I am familiar, they already are deeply suspicious of the guy because he has no children. That’s it – having no children makes him anti-family and possibly evil. This of course comes from adults who grew up as one of nine or ten and who were lucky if their parents remembered all their names, nevermind were capable of feeding them all. The last thing Scotland needs is for their political future to be decided not by honest voting by an informed citizenry but by a segment of the population voting against Salmond out of spite. He’s got to play nice. These people have long memories – most of them still vote Labour because their grandparents did.

    Still, he’s laying it on a bit thick and could probably have just done without saying O’Brien has been good for the country when his last major act before being fired was to incite the Catholic community against the government for daring to want to not kick gay people in the face. He was a divisive figure and spent his church’s money on fancy clothes and hate campaigns; I have never come across the church under his guidance making any effort to alleviate suffering caused by the financial crisis and the Westminster government’s austerity. I understand Salmond’s awkward political position, but it remains galling to see O’Brien praised as somehow having been good for Scotland.