Disgraced Catholic Cardinal Keith O’Brien died aged 80

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Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, arrives for a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Nov. 21, 2010, file photo. Cardinal O'Brien, 74, announced Feb. 25 that he will not participate in the conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI's successor. His resignation was accepted by the pope Feb. 18. The cardinal has been accused of "inappropriate conduct" by three priests and a former priest. He has denied the allegations. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Feb. 25, 2013) See OBRIEN-RESIGN Feb. 25, 2013.

The former Cardinal, who was once the most powerful member of the Catholic Church in the UK, resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh being accused of sexual misconduct against a number of priests 5 years ago. Starting from 1980 at least 40 cases of sexual misconduct had been recorded.“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,” he wrote in his resigning statement, “To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness,” said the Cardinal when he resigned from his post. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologize. 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 Scotland.” One victim said to The Tablet that O’Brien acted like nothing had happened and pretended to have forgotten about the incident completely. In spite of the sexual misconduct with the male priests, the Cardinal remained a vocal opponent of LGBT rights in general and same-sex marriages in part, especially when it related to the church.

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