Here’s what gets up my nose. I liked Kieran a lot when he was press officer for the English bishops: he didn’t give us any bullshit and let slip the odd bit of gossip. We we all pleased when he was made a bishop. Sure, he was a liberal, but they all were.
Then, shortly after taking office, he started bullying the parish of the Sacred Heart, Hove, for using too much Latin in its main Sunday Mass. I rang him up and said: this is outrageous – it’s not some elaborate Old Rite service, just a dignified Novus Ordo said mostly in English with nice music (such a rarity). The distress Conry caused by barging in and trying to wreck it was enormous and completely avoidable.
Since then traditionalist priests in his diocese have had their collars felt for worshipping in the style of Benedict XVI. Kieran would often refuse to answer letters from his clergy; but Left-wing laity slagging off traditionalists always got a sympathetic hearing. Meanwhile, the hardline liberal group Acta, opposed to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, operated with his approval in his diocese. (Here’s a furious report by an orthodox Catholic blogger.)
Now the bishop has admitted breaking his promises ‘going back some years’. Unlike the priests he was harassing, who kept theirs.
Why is it that the progressives are often the most authoritarian and clericalist when they get into power? Yet they have no greater authority to appeal to, hence the bullying and abuse of power.
I have to confess when I read this story, my first thought was, “Well, at least it is a woman.”
Still not good. But considering Cardinal O’Brien, I am sure I am not the only person with that reaction.