Cardinal steps down amid sexual claims

2013-02-25 16:27
Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Picture: AP)

Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

London - Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned with immediate effect in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behaviour, he said in a statement on Monday.

O'Brien, who as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh was leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, denies allegations that he made sexual advances towards priests in the 1980s.

He had been due to be the only cardinal from Britain to vote on a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI following the pontiff's shock resignation on 11 February.

But O'Brien confirmed that he would not now take part in next month's conclave.

"I will not join them for this conclave in person," he said.

"I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me - but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor."

In his resignation statement, O'Brien said: "Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God.

"For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended."

O'Brien had been due to resign on his 75th birthday next month, but he said: "The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013."

The allegations include claims that one priest received unwanted attention from O'Brien after a late-night drinking session, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.

Another priest reportedly claims that O'Brien used night prayers as cover for inappropriate contact.

O'Brien has previously angered the gay community with his hard-line public stance on homosexuality.

He was named "bigot of the year" last year by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

He recently said that same-sex marriages would be "harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved" and has long voiced opposition to gay adoption.

But in comments this week he also called for the Catholic Church to end its celibacy rule for the priesthood.

Scandals

A string of new scandals and allegations have emerged since Benedict became only the second pope in the church's 2 000-year history to step down of his own free will.

Four members of the conclave are associated with the paedophile priest scandals that have dominated the German pope's eight-year rule.

Thousands of American Catholics have signed a petition calling for US cardinal Roger Mahony, accused of covering up for paedophile priests in Los Angeles for years, to give up his vote in the conclave.

And while 85-year-old Benedict cited his age as the main factor in his resignation, media have speculated that an explosive report into last year's "Vatileaks" scandal may have played a role.

The scandal saw Benedict's butler arrested, convicted and later pardoned for leaking confidential papers to the press.

The Vatican said on Monday that the report on the scandal, which exposed intrigue and corruption in the church, would be shown exclusively to the future pope.

Read more on:    pope benedict xvi  |  uk  |  religion  |  child abuse
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.