Cardinal O’Brien contests ‘inappropriate’ conduct allegations
The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, who faces accusations by three priests and one former priest of the archdiocese, is seeking legal advice
Britain’s most senior Catholic clergyman has been reported to the Vatican over historical allegations of inappropriate behaviour, according to a UK Sunday newspaper, weeks before he is due to retire.
A spokesman for the Scottish bishops told the SCO tonight that: “Cardinal O’Brien contests these claims and is taking legal advice.”
Tomorrow’s Sunday Observer carries a report that three priests and one former priest have made a complaint against Cardinal Keith O’Brien (above), 74. The men-who submitted statements containing their claims to the office of nuncio Archbishop Antonio Mennini the week before Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation on February 11-have also demanded the cardinal’s immediate resignation, the newspaper reports.
The Sunday newspaper reports that the first allegation against the cardinal dates back to 1980, when he was spiritual director at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange.
His Eminence, who must tender his resignation on March 17 under Canon Law when he turns 75, passed over the role of the presidency of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland to Archbishop Philip Tartaglia last year.
Before his retirement, the cardinal will have a say at the Conclave of Cardinals in who succeeds Pope Benedict after His Holiness stands down on February 28. Following his retirement, Cardinal O’Brien will remain a cardinal elector until he turns 80.