WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Turmoil before the Papal conclave

No Papal conclave in modern memory will take place in such a climate of intrigue.

The latest: Three priests and a former priest in Scotland complained to the Papal nuncio about inappropriate behavior by Britain's most senior Roman Catholic clergyman stretching back three decades. Now, Cardinal Keith O'Brien - spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland - who had already announced his future retirement last November, will step down immediately. Cardinal O'Brien said he would not join the conclave choosing Pope Benedict XVI's successor: "I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me... but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor."

Interestingly, just before the scandal broke this weekend, Cardinal O'Brien had said he believes Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry. He said many priests struggled to cope with celibacy. More controversially, he also had broached the issue of women priests.

But, on most other issues, Cardinal O'Brien followed the Vatican line: He had strongly opposed Scottish government plans to legalize same-sex marriage; a gay rights charity had named the cardinal "bigot of the year". He held some issues - such as abortion and euthanasia - were non-negotiable: "Basic dogmatic beliefs" of "Divine origin".

Here's more about the Scottish cardinal's abrupt resignation...


Other reported intrigue hounded the Holy See even before the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien...


Posted at 7:29am on February 25, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 8:48am
Cardinal O'Brien is absolutely the wrong person for the job. Here we have someboy imposing his personal beliefs on gay marriage and ignoring two-thousands years of church doctrine.

Making O'Brien pope is like making a pro-life anti-abortionist the president of NARAL.

Allan Loudell
Mon, Feb 25, 2013 11:07am
Let's be clear: No one was saying that Cardinal O'Brien was a likely candidate to succeed Benedict XVI as pope. As for Cardinal O'Brien's current position, he was headed for retirement either.

But maybe you misread something, teatime: The cardinal's stance against gay marriage was totally in line with Church teaching.

(As to whether his alleged personal misconduct fuels the charge of hypocrisy is another issue!)

He did urge reconsideration of the Western Church's current ban on married priests. Indeed, Eastern Rite priests - in full communion with Rome - can marry (although cannot become bishops), and married Anglican priests dissenting from the Anglican Communion's embrace of gay clergy have been allowed to convert to Catholicism and become married Roman Catholic priests. Of course, the Eastern Orthodox Churches have married clergy.

The Western Church has mandated celibacy for diocesan priests in the Latin Rite since the 2nd Lateran Council in 1139. Logically then, it was not ALWAYS a requirement of the Western Church. Even some popes were married. The Council of Trent imposed the final blow on married clergy in the West by banning clandestine marriages.

Women priests pose a much thornier theological issue, and Pope John Paul II did his best to derail the notion (which doesn't mean it's derailed).

Allan Loudell

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 1:11pm
I can remember the time when I held both the BBC and CNN in high regard. After all, the BBC was an early source for responsible world-wide news. Their BBC World Service served the Empire, Commonwealth and the United States with quality news programming. As shortwave broadcast news services were losing listeners, CNN came along with a quality television alternative from the United States. Now they are both simply components of the worldwide liberal agenda.

The liberal agenda includes promoting the homosexual agenda. When a homosexual is involved in a situation where he/she is at fault sexually, twisting the story is the order of the day. This story about a gay bishop is important primarily in the United Kingdom. It is of little importance in terms of worldwide news. It, in no way, should be tied to the election of a new pope.

Both BBC and CNN work hard to weave this story into the Benedict XVI saga. In fact, it is not relevant. Neither is the alleged guilty bishop’s view on celibacy, marriage or any other issue of the day. I agree that priests should be allowed to marry. Friday, we celebrated the “chair” of St. Peter, the first bishop of Rome. He was also the first married bishop. The Roman Church needs to admit the rest of the Catholic world has it right. Allow priests to marry, but restrict their “career ladder”.

But the only reason the marriage issue is in play here is the fact that an unmarried bishop allegedly committed sexual acts on unwilling victims. His homosexuality must be under played to fit the agenda. Imply that he would not have been guilty if he had been allowed relations with a woman. Under play the need of celibacy for straight priests to steer the gaze from the lack of celibacy from a gay priest. There is nothing wrong with a homosexual becoming a priest or bishop. He must simply refrain from sex. But the news media today ignore this in order have another story in play to damage the Church.

Allan Loudell
Mon, Feb 25, 2013 1:26pm
Jim H---

I honestly don't see the "agenda" to which you refer in the news coverage I see about this.

Priests came out to make these accusations, and outgoing Pope Benedict XVI apparently felt strongly enough about the situation to have the cardinal's resignation take effect immediately. That sort of thing has not happened before any other modern conclave, and makes it news for more than just the U.K.

Ultimately, it's not about gays. Assuming the accusations can be corroborated, it's about clergy at some of the highest level of the Church unable to live up to the celibacy requirement.

Some years ago, the Jesuit magazine AMERICA ran a lengthy piece about how priests with homosexual feelings (but who bear the Cross and refuse to act on them) might be some of the best priests because they could sympathize and minister to parishoners going through their own struggles with sexuality.

But, the Church today under Pope Benedict has actually tightened the screening process for would-be priests & religious trying to keep out anyone with such an inclination. Some in the Church believe without the "gay problem", they'd have no child sexual abuse scandal (forgetting some of the victims have been girls).

So you certainly have a debate within the Church on this entire issue. You also have a raging debate over abuse of prepubescent victims (children before puberty) and late teenagers. The cardinal from Ghana earlier noted as a potential pope famously failed to differentiate between the two, and seemed to blame the entire abuse scandal on gay priests. Furthermore, this doesn't address at all the Church's cover-up of the scandal - reassigning priests to unsuspecting parishes - which to many, is far more grievous than anything else.

That's why Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles (who will participate in the conclave) has become such a pariah. After the L.A. Archdiocese's document-dump showed the cardinal shielding priests, his successor relieved Cardinal Mahony of all public duties.

Allan Loudell

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 5:52pm
The more I hear, the more corrupt the Western Catholic Church sounds.

Whereas most of the conclave is of First World origin, most of the church is composed of Third World parishes.

The future of the Catholic Church lies in the Third World; so putting a First-World person in charge again could cause the second papal split in its two centuries of history...

The Northern Division is dying; the Southern is growing. Today it makes more sense to go with the South, particularly as each day passes, and another news item leaks out.

I originally didn't believe the story of corruption leaked out by an Italian paper last Friday; but now I don't know, with today's news, it is a lot more credible...

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 6:46pm
Teatime: I'm going to be the bigot here and give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: Homosexuality is sin and gay marriage is absolutely WRONG.

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 7:00pm
By the way, I fully support and agree with Pastor Robert Jeffres from First Baptist of Dallas and I'm a HUGE fan of Tim Tebow.

Now, anybody want to write a half a page dissertation castigating me? Go ahead. MAKE MY DAY!

Allan Loudell
Mon, Feb 25, 2013 7:26pm
To kavips...

Actually, talking to a couple of professors of ecclesiastical history today, they actually DO believe these latest developments tip the Papal conclave toward a Third World cardinal who would have no paper trail the way most First World cardinals would.

To JimH further above, this is precisely why this story from Scotland is of relevance far beyond the United Kingdom!

Back to kavips, I'm not sure what you mean by the second Papal split in its two centuries of history: Do you mean two millennia of history, and the movement of the Papacy to Avignon with the anti-Popes of the early Middle Ages? Or the East--West schism of 1054 (Of course, the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Churches is called the Ecumenical Patriarch, not a pope, although the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt calls its leader a "Pope", but that split goes back to early Church theological controversies over the nature of Christ!) Or perhaps the First Vatican Council of 1870, where the "Old" Catholics split from Rome over the formal definition of Papal infallibility?

Allan Loudell

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 7:44pm
Oh, and I also support and agree with Mr. Cathey at Chick-fil-a!

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