Great Britain’s senior most Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, announced this morning that he was resigning his post. The Cardinal had come under fire in recent days for his alleged role in yet another sex scandal involving the church.
Until this morning, O’Brien served as the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and was the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.
O’Brien had been hit by complaints by four different priests who told the Vatican that O’Brien had acted “inappropriately” towards them. The allegations appeared to hint that O’brien had acted in a sexually suggestive way and one said that O’Brien had touched him in an inappropriate way.
Until this morning, the Cardinal seemed to be taking a combative tone to the allegations. BBC News is now reporting that O’Brien has issued an apology to anyone he might have offended and offered a resignation that the Pope has made effective immediately.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien pointed out that he was due to retire in March when he turned 75, but there will no longer be a wait for the end to his term.
CBS News points out that the timing of O’Brien’s resignation is significant because it also means he won’t take part in the Conclave that will select the next Pope.
The Vatican had said that any Cardinals under the age of 80 were expected to attend the Conclave, making O’Brien’s absence that much more glaring. O’Brien would have been the only representative at the Conclave from Britain.
O’Brien is not the only Cardinal who has recently become embroiled in sex scandal. A petition to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony out of the conclave is currently circulating.
The complaints against Mahony center around allegations that he shielded sexually abusive priests. Mahony is ignoring the calls to recuse himself at the moment.
Do you think Cardinal Keith O’Brien committed the acts he’s accused of?