There is a palpable sense of shock and sadness across Edinburgh in the wake of Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation.
For many, many years, he has been held in the highest regard, not just as a strong leader of Scotland’s Catholics, but also as a decent and humane man.
Nothing that has happened in the last 72 hours should change any of that.
The allegations laid against him are, of course, very serious, but the fundamental principle that someone is innocent until proven guilty applies here – just as much to a Cardinal as to any other person.
There are many things that we do not yet know about the accusers and their complaints. Only once a thorough investigation has been completed can we hope to know the full truth.
It would be terribly sad if, after many decades of service, the Cardinal were to be remembered for the events of recent days.
Yet we know from experience that allegations of inappropriate behaviour are extremely damaging. The stain they leave on someone’s character can be very difficult to shift.
We can only hope that the Vatican investigators leave no stone unturned and that their full findings are made public.
That is crucial, not just for the alleged victims, but also for Cardinal O’Brien, who denies any wrong- doing and deserves a proper opportunity to clear his name.
It is also vital for the good name of the Catholic Church. Justice not only has to be done, but is also needs to be seen very clearly to have been done.
WHEN you live in such a historic city as Edinburgh, it’s easy to overlook the more recent history waiting to be discovered.
Which is why today’s news of a bid to bring Edinburgh’s Cold War bunker back to life is so intriguing.
The move to renovate a building which is little more than a shell and turn it into a tourist attraction may at first seem like pie-in-the-sky. But as the success of the Fife attraction shows, it can be done successfully and offer a fascinating insight into the preparations which were made for the unthinkable.
Thankfully, of course, the bunker was never called into action and has since fallen into such a state of disrepair that it is difficult at the moment to see beyond the graffiti and burned-out rooms.
It will take a lot of work but it could become something really special. Good luck to all those involved in the project.