CARDINAL Keith O'Brien (right) admitted on Sunday that
his "sexual conduct" had "fallen below the standards expected". The
Cardinal, the former Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh,
stood down on Monday of last week, after allegations of
"inappropriate" acts were published in The Observer (News,
Comment, Press, 1 March).
In a statement published by the Scottish Catholic Media Office
on Sunday, Cardinal O'Brien said: "In recent days certain
allegations which have been made against me have become public.
Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to
"However, I wish to take this opportunity 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. I will play no
further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in
The BBC reported on Monday that the Vatican would carry out a
sexual-misconduct inquiry. It was "not likely to begin until after
a new Pope is chosen".
Pope Benedict appointed the Archbishop of Glasgow, the Most Revd
Philip Tartaglia, as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of
St Andrews & Edinburgh, it was announced last week. He will run
the diocese until a new Archbishop is appointed.
In a sermon on Monday, Archbishop Tartaglia said that there was
"little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the
Catholic Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow, and we
will need to come to terms with that". He said that the "sad time"
for the Church would pass, and that it would "draw what conclusions
and lessons" it could.
On Sunday, The Observer published an interview with a
former priest who, with three serving priests, reported allegations
about Cardinal O'Brien's behaviour to the Vatican. The former
priest said: "This is about integrity. I thought it was best to let
the men and women who put their hard-earned cash in the plate every
Sunday know what has been happening."