Wednesday 13 December 2017

Former priest who made complaint attacks church's response

A former priest who reported Cardinal Keith O'Brien to the Vatican over allegations of "inappropriate" behaviour has attacked the church's response to the complaints.

The cardinal stepped down from his post a day after the allegations by three priests and a former priest that date back 30 years were published last week.

The 74-year-old cleric tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict in November, citing age and "indifferent health" and was due to step down next month.

In the 'Observer', which first reported the story last week, the former priest, who remains anonymous, said he had been "disappointed" by the church's reaction.

Truth

He said: "There have been two sensations for me this week. One is feeling the hot breath of the media on the back of my neck and the other is sensing the cold disapproval of the church hierarchy for daring to break ranks.

"I feel like if they could crush me, they would.

"The vacuum the church has created has allowed whimsy and speculation to distort the truth, and the only support I have been offered is a cursory email with a couple of telephone numbers of counsellors hundreds of miles away from me."

Meanwhile, another priest has called for the Catholic Church in Scotland to be more open in dealing with complaints.

Fr John Robinson told the 'Sunday Mail': "If the Catholic Church in Scotland is to heal itself, we need transparency.

"We need to learn lessons from the mistakes we have made in the past and move on to become a more loving and understanding church which does not condemn victims or even abusers."

Irish Independent

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