Sunday, 03 March 2013, 09:00 by John Guillaumier, St. Julian's
On 24 January 2000, the local media reported that Cardinal Thomas Winning of Scotland “described homosexuals as ‘perverts’”. This insult to his fellow human beings has now come back to haunt him in his grave after a fellow Scottish prelate, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, resigned after being accused of “inappropriate behaviour” towards other priests. How ironic it is that Archbishop O’Brien, an outspoken critic of homosexuals, is now himself being accused of inappropriate behaviour with other men over a period of 30 years!
Cardinal O’Brien is not the first Catholic prelate to be accused of sexual harassment of fellow priests or of the sexual abuse of boys. Other cases involved Mgr Hans Groer, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna; Mgr Juliusz Puetz, Archbishop of Poznan in Poland; Mgr Anthony O’Connell, Bishop of Palm Beach in Florida; and an “Archbishop of Argentina’s Santa Fe Province who was sentenced to eight years in prison for aggravated sexual abuse against a seminarian” (ToM, 31 December 2009).
American attorney Jeff Anderson, who sued the Catholic Church on behalf of sex abuse victims, said in a Time magazine article of 1 April 2002: “They’re not going to change until a bishop goes to jail and his fellow bishops hear the door clang behind him and that sound resonates to the Vatican.”