Physically moving Cardinal O’Brien is a paltry, belated, grudging step that may bring temporary relief or comfort to his victims and his flock. It’s a half-hearted response to a wrongdoing that warrants a serious response.
O’Brien should be harshly disciplined. An investigation – a real one by independent sources – should be done. Those who ignored or concealed or minimized O’Brien’s sexual misdeeds should also be harshly disciplined. That’s what will bring change – severe consequences for severe wrongdoing.
For years, bishops who are caught exploiting the vulnerable have voluntarily stepped down and moved elsewhere when the media firestorm gets too hot. Still, clergy sexual misdeeds and cover-ups are rampant in the church. So, this approach is clearly not working.
Tough punishment by the Vatican will make a difference. Anything less is just “damage control.”