British cardinal O’Brien quits after ‘inappropriate behavior’ claims

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Cardinal Keith O’Brien is seen at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City in 2005. AFP FILE

LONDON—Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned with immediate effect in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behavior, he said in a statement on Monday.

O’Brien, who as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh was leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, denies allegations that he made sexual advances toward priests in the 1980s.

He had been due to be the only cardinal from Britain to vote on a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI following the pontiff’s shock resignation on February 11.

But O’Brien confirmed that he would not now take part in next month’s conclave.

“I will not join them for this conclave in person,” he said. “I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me—but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor.”

In his resignation statement, O’Brien said: “Looking back over my years of ministry: for any good I have been able to do, I thank God.

“For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended.”

O’Brien had been due to resign on his 75th birthday next month, but he said: “The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013.”

The allegations include claims that one priest received unwanted attention from O’Brien after a late-night drinking session, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported.

Another priest reportedly claims that O’Brien used night prayers as cover for inappropriate contact.

O’Brien has previously angered the gay community with his hardline public stance on homosexuality. He was named “bigot of the year” last year by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

He recently said that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved” and has long voiced opposition to gay adoption.

But in comments this week he also called for the Catholic Church to end its celibacy rule for the priesthood.

A string of new scandals and allegations have emerged since Benedict became only the second pope in the Church’s 2,000-year history to step down of his own free will.

Four members of the conclave are associated with the pedophile priest scandals that have dominated the German pope’s eight-year rule.

Thousands of American Catholics have signed a petition calling for US cardinal Roger Mahony, accused of covering up for pedophile priests in Los Angeles for years, to give up his vote in the conclave.

And while 85-year-old Benedict cited his age as the main factor in his resignation, media have speculated that an explosive report into last year’s “Vatileaks” scandal may have played a role.

The scandal saw Benedict’s butler arrested, convicted and later pardoned for leaking confidential papers to the press.

The Vatican said on Monday that the report on the scandal, which exposed intrigue and corruption in the Church, would be shown exclusively to the future pope.

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  • Crazy_horse101010

    another one bites the dust

  • Jarred Pulido

    What another scandal! The catholic talibans of the Philippines will say this is unfair reporting by pdi who is in favor or rh law.

  • Horst Manure

    Another one bites the dust ..hope there will a few more until all these jokes are finished.

    • Observer_din

      if they will follow what the good cardinal did ,the church will be having a shortage of CARDINALS,BISHOPS and ordinary PRIESTS.

  • mangtom

    The cardinal gets my applause. He did the right thing, instead of justifying or defending the allegation. Kung dito sa atin, mai-promote pa siya. He gets rewarded for his evil behavior just like the ivory-smuggling cone head. It is for fun in the Philippines for priests. They are all saints-he-he-he. 

    Yang cardinal has class. Dito sa atin walang delikadeza. Wala ng pagkakaiba sa mga politiko gaya nina Bigote, Enrile, Punasan and hundreds of others – kapal muks.

    • Laonglaankatipunan

      Most likely, he resigned only after getting caught with evidence so incontrovertible that he can no longer deny the escapades.  In that sense, I’m hesitant to give him my applause.  What scares me is that this cardinal is a papabile.  I wonder how many other papabili in this next conclave have similar skeletons in their closet? Is it possible for a sexual deviant to reform himself, make amends to his God and be fit to be a pope?

    • Crazy_horse101010

      yes in the cebu papers people were writing in saying what a great person he was. he could have been raping their kids and they didnt know it  because it has been proven they cant be cured

  • UrHONOR

    ITO ang parati kong nababanggit na KABULASTUGAN sa samahang ito…..ilang taong nagbuwis ng hirap, pagod,  at dugo…..umabot sa pinakamataas na ma-aabot….tapos ng mapagtanto na ang lahat ay gawa-gawa lamang ng mga kapwa…ayon….nagwala!  At hindi ito nag-iisa lamang… maraming-marami silang naka-sayang puti ang na sa ganitong sitwasyon at yong iba ay na sa mas komplikadong kalagayan pa.  TAPOS, susulpot na naman yong mga may dalang bayong na kapitolyo at bersikulo at magpapalutang na naman ng kung ano-anong numero at gagamitin ang pangalan ng diyos sa pagtatanggol ng kamaliang wala ng iba pang kapupuntahan kundi ang basurahan.

    Another wake-up call.  Sabi ng maykapangyarihan, “O, baka hindi pa kayo natatauhan sa nakikita ninyong mga sampols, ha.  Mulang mga pari, bisyaps, cardinals, hanggang popes, e, pinakitaan ko na kung ano ang dapat ninyong palitan sa pinaggagawa ninyong ka-exchosan sa aking ngalan.  Kung gusto ninyo akong maka-usap, dumeretso kayo….hindi yong nagpapaligoy-ligoy pa at kung sino-sino pa ang ginagawa ninyong tulay na tulad din ninyo…..save time, talk to me directly.”  YAN ay KUNG naniniwala talaga kayo na may kinakusap kayong tunay!

  • geminimind

    Repentance and forgiveness no longer acceptable with this kind of behavior
    Jesus himself ignores
    Let this be the best example of all and all other priests must follow and simply quit for their guilt.

  • bogli_anakdami

    in flipland, the more boyz kaksaker padre dumbassos’ maintain, the holier…

    it’s a badge of suckcess,,,

    bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha…

  • mangtom

    bogli_anakdami: very strong words, but I guess mahirap tumalab sa skull nitong mga cone heads kasi immune na sila sa barrage ng condemnation sa kanila araw-araw dito sa forum na ito. Bakit kaya ganyan sila, eh hindi naman ganyan ang mga cone heads sa ibang bansa? Ibang luto yata sila-lutong makaw. 

  • regd

    So, what does ‘inappropriate act’ means in this case ? Girly behavior or gayly behavior?

  • speedstream2

    Ah, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This simply reaffirms the reality that as we strive for perfection, our imperfections will get the better of us time and again.

  • mangtom

    regd: I guess the answer would be either-or. Same banana.

  • mangtom

    In many cases, this celibacy stuff is the cause of this errant sexual behavior of these priests. As long as the testosterone is in the blood, the bull will manifest his lasciviousness or lustfulness in the same or opposite sex. That’s as natural as breathing. The Vatican will admit it or not, but that’s what it is. Elementary, di ba? Well, unless the bull is transformed into a eunuch. Then the sexual urge is bye-bye. 

    • Hfxwst

      Most pedophile Priests molest young girls.  In this case,  the Cardinal is accused of same-sex relationships, but with Seminary Students, not children.   Unless same-sex relationships are illegal in Scotland (and they are not), then the Cardinal did nothing wrong in a legal sense.

      The Catholic Church has always been hypocritical about same sex relationships – accusing and punishing members of their congregation, but looking the other way when it is internal to their church.

      Am sure this is common here, but with a code of silence that is so common here, it will take a long time for it to surface.  Bribes and blackmail is common here – not so much in other countries. Just never leave your children alone with a Catholic cleric – adults can look after themselves.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        in most countries it is illegal for adults to have sex with children its called staturary rape,and im sure scotland has that law. priests rapes are 80 percent boys 20 percent girls, there has been a large case of suicides among raped children especially in america and europe. near cebu. there has been several cases in the cebu papers where the whistle blowers were punished. 

      • Hfxwst

        Of course t is illegal for adults to have sex with children – In the case of the Scottish Cardinal, his accusers were Seminary Students at the time – not children.

        I question your 80% with boys – what is your research reference for that data?

        Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priests in the Philippines will take a long time to uncover given the CBCP political relationships – but it will come for sure. There are outside groups who can withstand the wrath of the CBCP that will see it through to its just end.

        Just don’t ever leave your children with a Catholic official until they are outed.

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