Is there a “gay lobby” involved in blackmail that resulted in the decision of the pope to resign? No serious observer in or out of the Vatican currently accepts this account. But that hardly means there isn’t still a gay subculture in the Catholic Church.
Father Donald B. Cozzens warned us many years ago that the priesthood was becoming a “gay profession.” Notre Dame theologian Father Richard McBrien also spoke about the “gay culture” in the Church, and the damage it was doing. Father Andrew Greeley coined the term “Lavender Mafia” to refer to the way homosexual priests cover for each other. All three priests have stellar liberal credentials.
Now we have reports that Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland will not be going to Rome to join the conclave because he does not want to distract from the proceedings. He has resigned following allegations by three priests and one former priest that he was involved in improper conduct. He says the accusations are untrue. Is this another example of the “Lavender Mafia” at work?
Consider this. We don’t know the names of the four men making the accusations because the British newspaper behind this story, The Observer, won’t release them; the details of what allegedly happened have not been disclosed (all we know are vague statements about “inappropriate” and “unwanted” contact); the four accusers waited over 30 years to come forward before coordinating their joint charges.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien must be considered innocent until proven guilty. But we don’t need to wait any longer to conclude that the British media have discredited themselves again (they do so regularly with all matters Catholic). To withhold the names of the accusers, and the details of what allegedly happened (dating back to 1980), without ever allowing the accused to rebut the charges, is despicable. Am I alone in picking up the scent of lavender in the air?