Scottish Archbishop Resigns Amid Abuse Claims

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Rome, Italy (CNN) — Scotland’s Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has resigned amid allegations that he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.

obrien-picPope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation last week, the Vatican said in a statement released Monday.

O’Brien said he submitted his resignation to the pope months ago, citing his upcoming 75th birthday and his health, according to a statement released by the Scottish Catholic Media Office.

The resignation follows a Sunday report by the British newspaper The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O’Brien that date back 30 years.

The Observer did not recount details of the claims or identify any of O’Brien’s accusers, but said one of the priests alleged “that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him.”

O’Brien did not attend Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday, but the Scottish Catholic Media Office told CNN that the cardinal “contests these claims and is taking legal advice.”

His accusers took their complaints to the Vatican representative in Britain and demanded O’Brien’s resignation, The Observer reported.

At the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the church, told reporters that Benedict has been informed of the allegations.

The Irish-born O’Brien was scheduled to retire on St. Patrick’s Day, his 75th birthday.

As late as last week, he appeared to be making plans to take part in the conclave, when the College of Cardinals gathers in Rome to pick a successor to Benedict.

The pope accepted O’Brien’s resignation ahead of leaving the papacy on Thursday, becoming the first pope to step down since 1415.

“I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest. 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 said in the statement released by the Scottish Catholic Media Officer.

The accusations against O’Brien follow a buzz in Italian media about claims that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes, setting off speculation that a brewing scandal may have triggered Benedict’s resignation.

The Vatican vehemently denied the allegations Saturday, with Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone criticizing a rash of “often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories” as the cardinals prepare for their conclave.

Benedict announced his resignation on February 11, saying that at 85, he was too weak to continue his duties.


      • patriothere

        He never said NOT to molest little boys. If christianity is a bastardized version of judaism and jews are allowed to have sex with little kids then it's not too far fetched to argue that christians are allowed to have sex with kids.

      • patriothere

        Where does it say in the new testament that you cannot have sex with little kids? He never said you couldn't. He knew it was a given that of COURSE you could have sex with little kids. During that time the jews ran a slave trade that had lots of 9 year old slaves and prostitutes.

      • Daisy may

        As you say these actions are not the teachings of christ, then why is the church engaging in these pedophile, gay actions ? They are the ones that are suppose to be holy holy holy,why are they engaging in massive cover-ups ? Cardinals covering up the fact they were caught with male prostitutes ? They are the ones suppose to be doing the proper teaching here, this is such an outrage and if you support their actions you are as sick as them, what ya got to mouth off about with that roger, huh, huh, can't hear you roger , speak up !!

    • Afro-Rican

      He's retiring at 75. The 85 year old is Pope Benedict who is mentioned at the end of the article.
      I think both of them are beyond pecker pulling age though.

  • Daisy may

    This has been an ongoing issue with the church since they were exposed in Boston in 2002. They have engaged in criminal activities (not just sin) for many years and because they are the catholic church they feel they are above the law and engage in cover-up much worse than lapd !! I really have no idea why people buy into this and listen to their rants. Another irish laddy being exposed for his criminal actions against young boys, they talk about these priests being gay, excuse me they are pedophiles and should all be casterated !! i mean they take an oath not to engage in sexual activities whatsoever and they play around with little boys !! can't see why they wouldn't be willing to cut it all off for the sake of the children !!

    • Daisy may

      Nope i don't support your same sex gayish marriage lifestyle. As far as the victims there are many, only seen a handful of these pedophiles convicted in the media, that's because of the massive shove it under the carpet mentality. This issue ran rampant after exposure in 2002, so many came forward from years past and finally felt comfortable to do so, again after years of cover-ups. to many jerry sandusky's attempting to spread the good news of Jesus !!

  • Daisy may

    Chop chop their little stubbies, nuts the whole friggen works !! Where is Lorrania
    Bobbit when they need her, she'll take care of it and just chuck it out the window…..problem solved !!

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