Cardinal Sin: Challenging Power Abuse in the Catholic Church (Columba Press) by Brian Devlin.
In 2013, just before departing for Rome to take part in the election of a new Pope, the senior most official of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland suddenly resigned. Cardinal Keith O’Brien had been accused of past sexual misconduct by four serving and former priests, who in their frustration had taken their story to the media. As the news went public, O’Brien announced his retirement. Within days he issued a statement announcing that he would not contest the allegations. Soon after, he vanished from public life.
These events were unprecedented and spectacular. Cardinal O’Brien was an instantly recognisable figure in Scotland. Habitually dressed in grandiose clerical vestments, he was a staple of public life and hobnobbed with political leaders and public figures, including the disgraced former First Minister, Alex Salmond, as well as, pertinently, the notorious sex offender, Jimmy Saville. O’Brien’s had long been a loud voice advocating privilege for religion, and Catholicism in particular.
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