74 year old Cardinal Keith O’Brien, UK’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, resigned his position as the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh today Monday February 25th after being accused of ‘inappropriate conduct’ towards fellow priests.
Three priests and a former priest reported him to the Vatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years. One of the priests alleged that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him, resulting in a need for long-term psychological counseling. Another one claimed O’Brien made an inappropriate approach after night prayers. The four demanded O’Brien’s immediate resignation.
O’Brien denied the allegations and had been expected to continue in his post as archbishop until mid-March, when he was due to retire at age 75 but he resigned today.
“I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest,” Cardinal O’Brien said in a statement. “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.”
The Vatican is to investigate the allegations.