The new Bishop of Dunkeld says that not to forgive Cardinal Keith O’Brien would be “gravely wrong” but that the disgraced archbishop needs to make reparation for the harm he has done.
Speaking after his installation at St
Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee, last week, Bishop Stephen Robson
acknowledged that “hypocrisy” was the greatest criticism facing the
Church in Scotland.
Cardinal O’Brien, who resigned
following allegations of sexual misconduct made by priests, had been an
outspoken opponent of gay marriage.
Bishop Robson worked with Cardinal O’Brien for 35 years.
“Never once in all that time did I
experience anything of the behaviour he was accused of. That is why his
downfall came as such a shock to me and to so many. The Cardinal was
much loved in the archdiocese. I was a bishop only a few months when
this sad narrative began to unravel. The cardinal admitted behaviour
unbecoming in a man of God and I do not believe forgiveness of him is at
On the issue of clerical sexual abuse,
Bishop Robson added that he believed the process of forgiveness and
reparation would not be quick or easy and that the “horrific trial”
would continue for some time.