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Scottish cardinal says British obsessed with sex

Cardinal Keith O'Brien said in a statement this week that the UK is in danger of descending into a "bacchanalian state" in which everyone is obsessed with their own sexual pleasure.

Cardinal O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew's and Edinburgh, said: "It is not Christ's teaching that if you happen to be homosexual then you can have a partner. It is not Christ's teaching that if your marriage breaks up, you can go and live with somebody else."

He asked: "Are we just going to progressively decline into a Bacchanalian state where everyone is just concerned with their own pleasures and to sleep with whoever they want? The future at times does look quite bleak on this."

The cardinal's stance is said to have been encouraged by the Pope's claim earlier this year that Scotland is no longer a Christian country. He also challenged bishops to make the nation more spiritually-minded.

It had been reported when Cardinal O'Brien was elevated to the College of Cardinals that he was a liberal on matters such as priestly celibacy, but that he has since made a conscious effort to "shake off" the "liberal" tag.

Meanwhile, a Catholic school in the English city of Manchester has resisted a $A2403 inducement from a condom company to take part in a poster competition to promote "safe sex" and condom sales.

St Matthew's Moston principal Brian McNulty said the school is boycotting the competition because it promotes promiscuity.

He said: "This competition starts from the premise that young people are going to have sex, so they should at least protect themselves. But the starting point should be saying that it isn't right to have sex at a young age."

Mr McNulty says the Catholic schools' refusal to run the competition doesn't mean they don't take the issue seriously, but they approach it differently.

Cardinal attacks society's 'plummeting' moral standards (The Scotsman 22/12/03)
Catholic schools snub safe sex poster competition (Manchester Online 22/12/03)

'Liberal' cardinal fears Britons are obsessed with sex (London Daily Telegraph 22/12/03)
Scottish Bishops Put Focus on Culture of Life (Zenit 21/12/03)
Catholic Scotland
The Most Rev. Keith Patrick O'Brien Archbishop of St.Andrews & Edinburgh
Future Scottish cardinal yields to Vatican pressure (CathNews 14/10/03)

23 Dec 2003