THE VATICAN – As Cardinals flock to The Vatican for the business of electing the next leader of the Catholic Church, they heard the confession of one of their own regarding unspecified sexual misconduct.
Until last month, Keith O’brien was the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and the top Catholic cleric in England. Then came allegations he played around with four guys studying for the priesthood. First he denied it, then he resigned, or at least activated a resignation he wrote last year.
Now he says, ‘Yeah, okay, you caught me.’
Actually, he said there have been times when his ‘sexual conduct’ fell below what was expected of a priest and cardinal. And since he took a vow of celibacy, any sexual conduct would have fallen below what was expected.
Coincidentally, 25 years ago last month, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed to sex with a prostitute.
Right now the cardinals have to set a date to start the election process. Then each of them will swear an oath of secrecy. And while all that’s going on, Vatican officials will put a ‘no vacancy’ sign on the Vatican hotel and sweep the rooms for bugs. Not bed bugs, but listening devices, because, as Cardinal O’Brien found out, the church is a no-tapping zone.