Cardinal-elect disses Pope

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Oct 01, 2003

Cardinal-elect Keith O'Brien of Aberdeen, Scotland, has called for a re-examination of Church stances on contraception, priestly celibacy, and homosexuality.

In the process, the humble prelate compared himself with St. Paul. And by inference, he suggested that the man who is planning to give him a red hat is not quite up to his speed.

How courageous is it to shoot off your mouth after you're named as a cardinal? Archbishop O'Brien has long been known as a "progressive," but he wasn't issuing such blunt statements in the weeks before the Pope's announcement.

Wouldn't you love to hear the Pope announce that he'd made a slight error in his announcement, and actually there are to be only 30 new cardinals, not 31?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 04, 2003 11:10 AM ET USA

    Pope John Paul II could say "OOPS"

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 9:58 PM ET USA

    Hey, guys (and magnificent tiger), no reason why O'Brien can't be brought to heel next time by the appointment of Glasgow's Conti. Let's pray for that. St. A. & Ed. is the ancient primatial see of the Kingdom, but Glasgow's Catholic population is much more numerous. Nothing like balance. Patience. Mistakes re College of Cardinals appointees can't be straightened out in a day, week, month, year. Or can they ?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 9:53 PM ET USA

    In any sizeable group, there is always a small, but significant number of loonies. I would not surprised if even twenty percent of the newly appointed cardinals are balmy. And given the state of neo-paganism in Western Europe where it seems to be the norm, I am not shocked any longer at anything that approaches madness from that section of the world.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 7:05 PM ET USA

    Funny thing guys...I find it refreshing when one of these life time church-0-crats decide to not goosestep to the Vatican's liking! It sure makes you guys riled up....hope it does the same in Rome...discussion is never bad!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 6:57 PM ET USA

    Sure, but it wouldn't be in keeping with the long history of this Pope undermining his own teaching with his administrative incompetence.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 1:15 PM ET USA

    Phil, No - I wiould not like to hear that the Pope made a slight error regarding Cardinal O'Brien.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 9:41 AM ET USA

    I am amazed!! Are there any bishops in the world who understand Catholic doctrine? Do any read the Church Fathers? How about studying up on Papal Enyclicals? Can't this man do some homework and come to the conclusion that the "ban" on contraception has existed all throughout Church history?? Notice he used the word "ban" in the article to signify that somehow the prohibition is merely a disciplinary matter that can be "lifted", and not a matter of faith/morals. Send this guy some books to read.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 01, 2003 9:39 AM ET USA

    Let's face it...for some reason, the Holy Father appointed the wrong Scot to be a Cardinal. Maybe with a name like O'Brien, it was thought this bishop was a Catholic.