I do not make a habit of launching personal attacks on individuals, but in this case I think it is justified.
The possibility has been mooted that a peerage may be offered to the retiring Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. There are many reasons – apart from arcane considerations of constitutional propriety and canon law – why this would be entirely inappropriate, and a petition against it which already bears over 1100 signatures has been launched on the No. 10 website.
For those not familiar with the background, the following links may be enlightening:
First, a BBC profile of the Cardinal.
Second, an account of the paedophile scandals involving a Catholic priest who, his victims claim, was protected by the Cardinal (then Bishop of Arundel and Brighton). One of them, who was eight at the time the abuse began, said that the Cardinal’s actions – or inactions – had condemned him to four years of abuse: “I feel livid towards him. The sweeping under the carpet as it were was his doing. It put me in the danger that I was in for that whole length of time.”
Third, the Cardinal’s lame defence of his conduct.
It seems to me bizarre that he feebly excuses himself by pleading the general ignorance at that time of the ‘compulsive nature of child abuse’. As a therapist, I do not believe in the existence of irresistible compulsions of any sort; and for the dignitary of a Church which makes a point of preaching the doctrine of Free Will to subscribe to any such notion is surely ludicrous.
Cardinal Murphy O’Connor was absolved of any intentional wrongdoing in this matter, but at the very least he was guilty of gross negligence and should, one would have thought, have had the grace to resign even if the Pope did not sack him.
But not a bit of it: Murphy O’Connor blossomed into the most bigoted and reactionary holder of his office in my living memory. Only last month, he was reported as saying on BBC Radio 4 that it was necessary to stand up to unbelievers, as since they don’t recognise that we are all made by God they have an impoverished understanding of what it is to be human.
Well, thanks for telling me. If I am not fully human, Cardinal M O’C, what are you? Utterly unfit to be given a platform in the House of Lords to spout this sort of obnoxious rubbish for a start.
I hope that everyone who agrees with me will take a few moments to sign the No. 10 petition.