No, not the Cardinal O'Brien who in the space of a few days fell from grace but the Cardinal O'Brien who a few days before that asserted that priests should be able to marry.
Think about it for a moment. Here was one of the electors of the new Pope, chosen, so we were reliably informed by journalists, either by John Paul II or Benedict XVI and thus utterly reliable in toeing the increasingly conservative 'party line' running through the past two papacies. But not so. In his heart the Scottish cardinal harboured the thought that radical change was needed in the Western rite churches of the Roman church. Thus he is a sign of hope that the new pope to be chosen will harbour similar thoughts for radical change and unleash, in due course, a spring clean of the church.
And why am I a mere Anglican thinking these thoughts?
Because it is bad for Christianity when one church creates dodgy headlines giving the impression that Christianity is on the side of oppression and violence rather than on the side of freedom and peace.
Vatican, Iran resist UN effort fighting violence on women
The true Christian spirit of Roman Catholicism does not need that reputation. Global Christianoty does not need one of the key players being associated with resistance in the fight against anti-women violence.
Rome is desperately in need of new leadership. A cardinal now who (for instance) can entertain the thought of married priests could contemplate as pope the possibility of women in Vatican leadership which would do a lot for changing a culture which can be so bleak in political vision that it happily sides with Iran and engenders the above headline.
Here's to you Cardinal O'Brien ... wherever you are hiding.
While on matters Roman, note to media: our Archbishop David Moxon has NOT been appointed to a role 'in the Vatican': "Archbishop David Moxon preached his last sermon in Taranaki yesterday, before leaving to take up his high-ranking job in the Vatican."