Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland (CNS photo)
Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who
resigned last week amid allegations that he had engaged in inappropriate
sexual behavior stretching back 30 years, this weekend released a statement
admitting to sexual misconduct.
the UK Guardian:
In a short but far-reaching statement
issued late on Sunday, the 74-year-old stated that "there have been times
that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a
priest, archbishop and cardinal".
The former archbishop of St Andrews and
Edinburgh, and until recently the most senior Catholic in Britain, apologised
and asked for forgiveness from those he had "offended" and from the
Cardinal O’Brien had initially contested allegations from three priests
and a former priest that he had engaged in “inappropriate acts.” O’Brien was
already slated to resign his office this month, when he will reach the
mandatory retirement age of 75, but announced last week that his resignation
would take effect weeks earlier and that he would not be participating in the
upcoming conclave to elect a new pope. In his most recent statement, O’Brien
states that he will no longer serve the Church in Scotland in any public
capacity. From the Guardian:
Announcing that he would now retire
entirely from public life and from the frontline duties for the church he once
led, 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 contest them.
"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
His statement goes significantly
further than the apology and partial admissions which he made in his
resignation statement last week, when he said: "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."