A fifth priest has come forward to claim that disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien put the moves on him the very day he got the little red hat.
The cardinal is alleged to have assaulted a priest at the Scots College in Rome in October 2003, hours after being awarded the red mitre by Pope John Paul II. The priest, who is Scottish but now based in London, made a formal complaint to the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops last September, after which Cardinal O’Brien was summoned immediately to Rome. The complaint, which was dealt with by Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec, who was one of the early front-runners this week to become Pope, was the first which eventually led to the cleric’s downfall and is not from one of the four complainers whose allegations were made public last month. It is understood the complaint involved an attempt to grope the priest, who was known to Cardinal O’Brien. Alcohol had been consumed at an event in the Scots College attended by many priests who had travelled to Rome especially for his elevation. Scots based at the Vatican also attended.
Also yesterday another man claimed that O’Brien kissed and groped him while he was a teenaged trainee for the priesthood. We’re still waiting for Bill Donohue to follow up his claim that O’Brien was targeted by the “Lavender Mafia.”