Ireland’s former President urges Cardinal O’Brien to go public

The Tablet, 7 January 2014 by Helen Pye

Ireland’s former President Mary McAleese has urged Cardinal Keith O’Brien to share his life story in order to help gay people who have felt the need “to pretend to be heterosexual”.

Cardinal O’Brien became one of Britain’s most vocal opponents to gay marriage and gay relationships but he hastily stood down as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh last year after admitting to sexual misconduct with five men.

Speaking at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Mrs McAleese said that O’Brien’s story could be “of great assistance to gay people, not just in the Church but elsewhere” who are wrestling with their sexuality and the Church’s teaching.

Mrs McAleese has previously voiced concern about the high suicide rate among gay Irish males.

She suggested that Cardinal O’Brien, who led the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh for 27 years, had used a technique typical of closet homosexuals of speaking “in the most homophobic way” to divert attention from himself.

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