The Catholic Church needs to separate the issue of sexual orientation and abuse

Cardinal Keith O’Brien had been due to retire this month as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church but stepped down prematurely after several allegations of sexual misconduct with male priests surfaced in February.

Last Sunday night he admitted that his “sexual conduct” had been “below the standards expected” of him.

“He preached publicly against homosexuality while privately seeking its pleasures,” human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said to on Monday.

Under his leadership the Catholic Church in Scotland pledged to ‘declare war’ on marriage equality and spent around £150,000 on its anti-gay marriage campaign. 

On Tuesday, the Equality Network urged that “instead of paying so much attention to the genders of people in relationships, the Catholic Church needs to focus on whether relationships are consensual or abusive.”

Director of the Equality Network Tim Hopkins said: “Concerns have rightly been raised about the priority the Church places on sexual morality in particular, and the tone with which it speaks, but the focus needs to be right too. Why does the Church put so much time and money into opposing loving same-sex couples getting a marriage certificate, instead of campaigning on issues of abuse? Until the Church shows that it understands that consent versus abuse are what matters most in relationships, not sexual orientation, it will struggle to regain its credibility and moral authority.”

Mr Hopkins added: “We have heard regret from the Cardinal about sexual conduct, and concern from the Church about well-deserved charges of hypocrisy. But we have not yet heard clearly enough that the Church understands that the real problem here was not breaching vows of celibacy, or that the sexual acts were same-sex, but that they were an abuse of a position of power.”


by The Equality Network

3 comments on “The Catholic Church needs to separate the issue of sexual orientation and abuse

  • My partner was abused by the catholic church in the fifties. His father had been a serving soldier and towards the end of the war he had been stationed in Mechelen in Belgium. He fell in love with a beautiful Belgian girl. He was church of england and she was catholic. Her parents did not approve of her having a relationship with a british soldier who was church of england. One night they eloped to the UK and eventually married. They eventually had four children who were christened into the catholic faith. At the tender age of seven years, my partner who attended St Francis School in Peckham in London was being physically and emotionally abused by an old teacher named Miss Kelly, who would wield her cane and regularly wrap him across the knuckles in class. The school was attached to a catholic church. Each morning before class, the school had to assemble in the church for morning prayer service. After the service, regularly two nuns would stop my partner and tell him that his mother and father were living in sin and that he and his brother and sisters were bastards and they would all burn in hell. This gave him endless repetative nightmares of hell that went on for a few years. One day whilst he was at home alone with his mother, the two nuns turned up at the family home, and repeated to his mother exactly what they had been saying to him every morning in the catholic school church, he held his mothers hand as she stood before the nuns crying her heart out.

    Eventually, his younger brother, who had been being treated in the same way by Miss Kelly the maths teacher, told his mother of the abuse. The parents arranged to see the head teacher to make serious complaints. The upshot of this was that all the four children were taken out of the catholic schools and were placed in church of england schools. Three more brothers were born to the family, and because of these experiences, those three brothers were christened into the church of england. You can only begin to imagine what such a mixture of faiths in one family would do, and many of the children ended up years later becoming very dysfunctional. My partner at the age of 27 discovered his sexuality and that he was a homosexual. I am his first and only love and we have been together for 34 years.

    The Catholic church are the biggest hypocrites in this world. They know that gay marriage was a Christian rite centuries ago yet they maintain their evil stance on homosexuality in this so called modern age of enlightenment. There is evidence that homosexual marriage was a Christian rite and was accepted throughout Christian history, there are even Gay saints. See the following links for the truth :-


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