Cardinal Who Denied Homosexual Allegations Admits They Are True

Cardinal Keith O'BrienLast week Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland and Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric, resigned from his post, amid rumours that he had engaged in homosexual activity with other priests in the 1980’s. He denied these allegations as he stepped down, but has now admitted that his “sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me”.

Three priests and one former priest, from O’Brien’s diocese in St Andrews in Edinburgh, claimed that they told the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain that O’Brien had behaved inappropriately with them. One priest claims that he received “unwanted attention” from O’Brien after a late night drinking session, and another says that O’Brien used late night prayer sessions as a cover up for inappropriate behaviour.

Cardinal O’Brien issued a statement yesterday, saying that he wanted to “admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal … To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement.”

A Scottish Catholic Media Office spokesman has said that he expects the complaints, “will be investigated and a conclusion drawn”, although it is likely that this will not happen until after a new Pope is chosen. By resigning, O’Brien has removed himself from the papal conclave, meaning he will take no part in selecting the next Pope.

Cardinal O’Brien was known for being outspoken against homosexuality in the Church, saying that it was “morally disordered”. He recently stated that same sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved.” He is also openly opposed to gay adoption.

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