Serves him right for sucking up to the Church

After Jim Murphy Labour’s Scottish Secretary had declared:

“When the Cardinal speaks, people listen”

the leading political analyst Professor John Curtice, presciently warned that appealing to religious values could backfire. How right he was. Within hours of Murphy’s crawl to Canossa, the Ballycastle-born Scottish cardinal dealt Murphy, a devout Catholic, a stinging rebuke.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland, welcomed Mr Murphy’s “recognition of the role played by faith and religion in society….”Instead we have witnessed this government undertake a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values. This is a charge I personally put to Gordon Brown when we met in 2008 and I have seen no evidence since then to suggest anything has changed.”

So we now know God is an SNP voter.

I can’t imagine this exchange taking place in Holy Ireland, can you?

  • I get really tired of these religious organisations, amongst the most successful businesses ever by the way, insisting they deserve more influence than they get.

    I for one would ban the lot of them, and in deference to Cardinal Retzinger and his views on child abuse. I would start with the Catholic Church.

    As to your question. No, the church, may be lying low but its influence is as unhealthy as ever.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    No I cant imagine it taking place in 2010 but of course Noel Browne, Archbishop McQuade figure in Irish history.
    In the Republic we might actually see a return to the primacy of the Republic over the Catholic Church which has been effectively a proxy monarchy.
    Of course Britain does actually have an established Church, a Head of State that must actually be a member of that Church. Good to see Mr Walker adopt a stance that looks to a division between Church & State.
    In Scotland of course, the Act of Settlement is an issue…so with Mr Walkers support the Catholic Church can indeed support moves to Scottish independence.

  • FJH

    You sound as though you think there is still an Anglican church. Anyone tell Rowan Williams? I thought he presided over the funeral years ago.

  • John Joe

    One difference is that, whatever their private opinions and how it influences their actions, no politician in the Republic would come out and admit taking direction from a member of the Catholic hierarchy. Certainly, I don’t remember any of them doing it in the last few years. None of them would raise their head amongst the parapet today.
    However, there has been no political move to re-organise the governance of schools following the clerical abuse scandals. Direct criticism of the Catholic church’s handling of abuse and interaction with the various investigations has been left to victims’ groups rather than coming directly from politicians.

  • So we now know God is an SNP voter

    Cardinal o’Brien’s God fell in with the SNP some time ago, certainly after Alex’s wholehearted support for both the concept of separate Catholic Schools and the church’s adoption agencies.

  • Spotty Muldoon

    God an SNP voter? Splitter. I was sure he was a Shinner

  • Paddy

    More sectarian, anti Catholic bile. The position of the Catholic Church, restated by O’Brien, is well known. I guess the UFF/TUV fan club are working themselves into a frenzy waiting for the Pope’s arrival so they can sling their ignorant barbs.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Keep it up Paddy you might even convince yourself.

    The ‘anti-catholic bile’ crew have been rendered redundant in recent years by the representatives of the church itself, who have inflicted vastly more damage on their supposedly moral institution than anyone else could ever wish to.

    O’Brien’s remarks on ‘family values’ are yet another hubristic example of the ‘head in the sand’ mentality so beloved of this sad organisation.

  • [quote][i]You sound as though you think there is still an Anglican church. Anyone tell Rowan Williams? I thought he presided over the funeral years ago.[/i] … Posted by pippakin on Feb 24, 2010 @ 12:22 AM[/quote]


    Does Rowan blog? Sharing Church Muse and Pontificant Ponder?

    Churches would Learn a Lot of ESPecially Spooky and QuITe Essential Stuff…….. Base Fundamentals.

  • amanfromMars


  • Prionsa Eoghann

    As Paddy so rightly bewails here I am not sure many have read more than the headlines before jumping into ant-Catholic rhetoric.

    Murph, the Glasgow-Irish ‘British’ SOS for Scotland has been desperate to shore up the fleeing Catholic vote in the west of Scotland, so neccesary for labour. His acolytes in the press have him taking credit for the Papal visit and ingratiating himself with the Church hierarchy. Where the opportunist Murph goes wrong is that he reads a poll pointing out that Labour is most in tune with faith voters (what poll? Who knows) He subsequently announces to the world that labour should be the natural home of voters of faith.

    This is far too much for a Catholic church who abhore the imminent closing of the highly successful Catholic adoption agency through Labour’s equality legislation. Add this to the stem cell legislation and amongst other things Labour’s continued support for abortion as a final form of contraception.

    Murph enraged the cardinal, who realised that he could not let this open goal go a begging. Murph has had his opportunist backside tanked. The reality is that he has got away with murder with all his previous bullshit that no Scottish media outlet will challenge. For the church though murph’s opportunist shite was a stench they could not put up with and even the pro-Labour papers could not ignore.

    Incidently does anyone of any other national newspaper that ignored the Brown bullying. The Daily Record, Scotland’s widest read did on Tuesday when every other paper was full of it. Just highlights the levels to which labour’s influence goes here in Scotland.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    >>Cardinal o’Brien’s God fell in with the SNP some time ago<

  • Coll Ciotach

    Good – a Cardinal who has no problem bursting the bubble of politicos – well down that man

  • “That is beneath you!”

    Not sure why, I believe in neither God nor the SNP.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    Your insinuation carries the smear that the Cardinal is disengenious in his faith and or the reason why he tanked Labour’s and by extension the skull’s arse is due to an alleged allegiance to the SNP.

    Care to prove either insinuation, or prevaricate over any other meaning that your comments might cause us to believe?

  • I said I don’t believe in God, I don’t see how you can translate that into saying I believe the Cardinal is “disingenious” in his faith.

    I’ve also no idea about his political convictions; like his faith that should be up to the individual. However, Salmond has, as I said originally, specifically spoken on both the value of the separate Catholic schools and the adoption agencies – I presumed that the cardinal would have been quite happy that he had done so.

    It is also disturbing that both you and Paddy seem to regard any challenge of the Church’s position as de facto sectarian -correct me if I am wrong. Once any religious person moves into the political sphere then in a democratic society, non-Catholics have a right to challenge those views.

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    Let me keep you on track, here is what you actually said;

    >>Cardinal o’Brien’s God fell in with the SNP some time ago< >It is also disturbing that both you and Paddy seem to regard any challenge of the Church’s position as de facto sectarian -correct me if I am wrong.< >As Paddy so rightly bewails here, I am not sure many have read more than the headlines before jumping into ant-Catholic rhetoric.< >Once any religious person moves into the political sphere then in a democratic society, non-Catholics have a right to challenge those views.<

  • Could you please elaborate on that? I repeat that the comment is beneath you.

    Remember this: ?

    How would you interpret that, hardly a vote for the status quo of the Union?

    And his intervention prior to Glenrothes: ?

    Again, with that kind of strong reminder, he was offering the flock he may as well have gone out in the hustings with the SNP and be done with it.

    As a private individual, he is entitled to his views on the future of Scotland; as a religious leader he is not entitled to put the church’s stamp on those views.

    And before Paddy runs in advising me to piss off to a “UFF or Rangers” site, here is exactly the same point I made about the Archbishop of Wales who took it upon himself to advise the Welsh of the wonders of future devolution. Not his or Cardinal O’Brien’s place to give us that kind of advice. I’m an ungodly secularist condemned for eternal damnation most probably, but my views don’t derive from any sense of Hun supremacy.

    Glad to. I point you to my earlier comment;

    You didn’t answer the question with that comment. Paddy’s position, in contrast, is quite consistent. On a previous thread, he even refused to condemn the Church’s role in the child abuse scandals. Bearing in mind, as you know, I am someone who does his best to keep informed on the wider UK scene am I not entitled as an atheist to comment on the Catholic church’s position on non-religious affairs without the fear of being labelled “sectarian” for doing so?

    Fitzy apart no-one tries very hard to comment on the actual topic, some allude to it but it is only a prelude to attacking the church. I doubt if any of them knew much about the topic but saw it as a chance to have a go. You on the other hand should know better.

    “Fitzy” makes one valid point re the Disestablishment of the COE. It’s not possible to have a “quasi”- secular state. But, again, simply because one criticises the role of Catholic church, it shouldn’t necessarily be assumed, as he does, this is because one is anti-Catholic or indeed ignorant of the underlying issues.

    O’brien was not the only church leader to come out and attack Muurph. The Church of Scotland and other protestant churches done so also. The connection is that Murph is a Catholic blatantly going for the Catholic vote whilst his party legislate on moral issues that differ from the Catholic Church’s teachings.

    A fair point, Mr Walker should have widened his scope with the original post and I perhaps should have done more research rather than merely relying on him as the sole source.

    It was the opportunist Murph who moved into the religious sphere not the other way round. Should O’brien come out and advocate that atholics should vote for any particular party then I myself would speak out.

    Lie yourself down, a second fair point. I think the links I supplied above indicate O’Brien’s own political preferences and having such a letter read out prior to a by-election is as good as a nod and a wink. But yep, just as O’Brien is a religious leader whose writ should finish after church finishes on Sunday, Murphy is a politician, who should not be using religion as a selling point at election time. A totally 100% secular state where issues of conscience are decided solely by the personal conscience not religious leaders or interfering politicos would be my ideal and until it’s achieved I’ll reserve the right to criticise both sets of miscreants.

    And…I’ve made myself thirsty, so off for a pint now, don’t expect a reply tonight!

  • Ah, forgot the Archbishop of Wales link:

  • Prionsa Eoghann


    I’ve made my point I think, but fair play to you for trying to widen the discussion. No offence was intended from me as I know that you are not one of the unreconstructed but your comments called the man’s integrity into question. Unfairly so I reckon and on reflection you probably do too :¬)

    Final point on Obrien;

    “Asked if the Church could be indifferent to a move towards independence in Scotland, he declared: “I would not get too involved in the politics of independence, but I am happy that, if it is the wish of the people, Scotland becomes an independent country.”

    He was asked his opinion and gave it. Problem with your take is that he should have followed the establishment line and is ‘guilty’ of not doing so. You are simply being subjective and unfairly so.