Cardinal Keith O'Brien (CNS photo)
The Scottish Herald
is reporting that Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburghwho
earlier this month admitted to and apologized for sexual misconduct, following
his resignationhad a long-term relationship with one of the priests who accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien had a long-standing
physical relationship with one of the men whose complaints about his behaviour
sparked his downfall as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
The man left the priesthood in the middle of the last decade but
rejoined and is living on the continent in a post the cardinal helped him
The complainant is known to have been
in regular telephone contact with Cardinal O'Brien until recently and was a
frequent visitor to St Benets, his official residence in Edinburgh's
also claims that the accusations against O’Brien were levied in response to the
cardinal’s strong statements in opposition to homosexuality and same-sex
It also emerged the dramatic downfall
of Britain's leading Catholic cleric was spurred by gay priests angry at his
rhetoric and hypocrisy about same-sex marriages.
All those who complained about Cardinal
O'Brien and alleged they had been abused by him were known to him for decades.
At least two are known to have been in same-sex relationships and had become
exasperated at double standards in his statements about gay marriage.
In the six months building up to him
being forced to stand down last month, the cardinal had been under some
pressure from priests to tone down the rhetoric.
However, his statements, such as
describing homosexuality as a "moral degradation", were a tipping
point for those previously close to him.