Card. Keith O’Brien resigned on moral grounds and excluded himself from the papal conclave.
Is there an Indian Cardinal at the conclave who is also morally tainted?
Possibly, if one reads statements made by Ms. Virginia Saldanha in the Catholic media
In a UCAN report of June 18, 2010, Ms. Virginia Saldanha, a Bombay archdiocese lay theologian, feminist, women’s rights activist and supporter of women’s ordination cited her fellow theologian Ms. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala as claiming to have met a nun who was impregnated by a bishop resulting in the birth of a boy.
Mr.Michael Prabhu, an apologist from Chennai, documented that the news appeared a total of seven times in the public domain, including on the Conference of Religious, India (CRI) site between June 2010 and April 2012. His report may be accessed at http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-BISHOP_FATHERS_CHILD_BY_NUN.doc.
On the basis of that story, MumbaiLaity/AOCC wrote to the CBCI President, the Bombay Archbishop Card. Oswald Gracias in April 2012 asking him to declare the name of the alleged Bishop who fathered the child, https://mumbailaity.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/letter-sent-to-the-cbci-presidentarchbishop-to-declare-the-name-of-the-alleged-bishop-who-fathered-a-child/.
But nothing was heard from him. The Catholic laity wonders why the conspiracy of silence.
Ms. Saldanha also was contacted but gave contradictory and unsatisfactory replies, one of which was called a “blatant lie” by the eminent writer, George Menezes. The details are in Mr. Michael Prabhu’s report.
Since the reported sexual escapade occurred during the period 1999 to 2001 according to the women theologians who are highly trusted executives of this archdiocese, that leaves three bishops who are candidates for suspicion. One was aged 75 at that time and is therefore eliminated. Another was almost 65 years of age and is now retired, so there is no immediate reason for our concern. The remaining bishop was in his middle 50s. (The present auxiliary and a past auxiliary were only consecrated as bishops in April 2001.)
Now, it must not be mistakenly thought that one is accusing him of being the father of the nun’s son. But, since neither he nor the two women theologians have responded to either the media reports or the letters sent to them, one wonders what the truth is. One thing cannot be denied that there is a cloud of suspicion or he is protecting someone.
Mere suspicion of having committed a felony, as any lawyer knows, does not make anyone guilty.
But then neither is Card. Keith O’Brien of Scotland. He resigned his position at the very first “claims” of inappropriate moral behaviour that were leveled against him. The actual investigation will be conducted only after the new Pope is elected. Card. O’Brien then opted to absent himself from the papal conclave. And there hasn’t been the slightest whiff of allegations of doctrinal or theological laxity on his part.
On the other hand, the Indian with a similar cloud of moral suspicion hanging over him because of the statement of two of his own theologians travels to Rome to attend the conclave, at the same time presenting himself as a candidate for Pope!
Cardinal Oswald Gracias is far from pristine either morally or theologically.
Mr.Michael Prabhu has claimed repeatedly, and also supported his claims with facts in a series of investigative reports, that our Bombay archdiocese is the most institutionalised diocese as far as church-promoted New Age activities is concerned. Only recently we published an article of his https://mumbailaity.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/cardinal-oswald-gracias-president-of-the-cbci-and-ccbi-candidate-for-pope-endorses-yoga-promotes-yoga-priest-fr-john-ferreira-michael-prabhu in which he records that Card. Gracias has endorsed yoga for Catholics even though two Vatican documents and the Youth Catechism (YouCat) state unequivocally that yoga is New Age.
We ourselves have regularly been obliged to take up cases related to the rampant corruption in Trusts and disposal of church properties, injustice to poor and defenseless laity, arrogant priests who are beyond any archdiocesan discipline, and so on.
As the president of both the CBCI (comprising all three rites) as well as the CCBI [only Latin rite bishops), Card. Gracias must be fully aware of the strong undercurrent of tension that exists between the two episcopal bodies in various areas including the liturgy. There is a lack of genuine unity in the Church in India.
If the common head of two leading national episcopal bodies cannot bring about true unity in a local Church, how will he effectively govern and administer the Church worldwide as Pope?
A cardinal who is an elector cum candidate for Pope must also be beyond all reproach, and most regretfully that cannot be said of the cardinal from our great archdiocese of Bombay, India.