Scotland's cardinal admits misconduct
LONDON — Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who stepped down as Britain's highest-ranking Roman Catholic cleric last week amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with priests, conceded on Sunday to committing acts of sexual misconduct.
In Britain, the admission was considered a confirmation of what observers here have called a prime example of the church's hypocrisy, given that O'Brien, 74, emerged as a leading voice against the legalization of same-sex marriages.
Last Monday, outgoing Pope Benedict XVI effectively forced O'Brien's early retirement a day after a British newspaper published accounts by four men – including one former and three current priests – who said O'Brien had initiated intimate contact. When the reports first surfaced, O'Brien, who had been the head of the church in Scotland since 2003, denied the charges.
However, on Sunday, O'Brien admitted in a statement on a church website that his conduct had “fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.” He vowed to “spend the rest of my life in retirement,” adding that “I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”
O'Brien has recused himself from attending the gathering to select the next pope.
“To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness,” O'Brien said.
On Sunday, The Observer newspaper, which published the initial allegations, carried reaction from one of the four men, who remain anonymous.
The man, who said O'Brien had approached him in the 1980s when he was a 20-year old seminarian, said that when the men approached the Vatican's diplomatic mission in London last month to make an official denunciation, they were warned that going public would cause “immense further damage to the church.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nepal quake: Over 1,000 dead, history razed, Everest shaken
- Recuperating ambassador to South Korea, Lippert, vows to be open
- Terrorists planned attack on Vatican, officials say
- Armenia commemorates massacre
- Nations vow to curb Arctic climate change
- U.S., allies scramble to train rebel fighters for Syria’s civil war
- Unilateral Obama sanction relief for Iranians possible
- DNA matches child born in Vietnam, father in Texas after 40 years
- Yemen Shiite rebel leader vows not to surrender amid strikes
- Mexican teen wrongly taken to U.S. returned
- Chechen leader Kadyrov defies Moscow