The Vatican have announced they will conducted an enquiry into the activities of Cardinal Keith O’Brien who has now acknowledged his sexual conduct had fallen below the standards expected of a priest, archbishop and cardinal.
In a statement issued through the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and read out at St Marys Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday morning, the cardinal 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 Scotland”.
The cardinal, was due to take retirement next month but was forced to resign by the Pope two weeks ago after the Observer newspaper reported that three serving priests and a former priests had accused him in a formal complaint to the pope’s ambassador to the UK of “inappropriate acts” against them in the 80s,
In the debate for ‘equal marriage’ in Scotland, Cardinal O’Brien had said marriage for gay couples was “maddness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. He said if it were allowed, “further aberrations” would ensue and “society would be degenerating even further than it has already degenerated into immorality”.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien was named ‘Bigot of the Year’ in the Stonewall Equality Awards 2012. Prior to the awards sponsors Barclay Bank and Coutt’s Bankers had threatened to withdraw sponsorship from the event unless the award was withdrawn. Stonewall stood firm.
On the night of the Stonewall awards Ruth Davidson leader of the Conservative party in Scotland was booed during her acceptance speech for ‘Politician of the Year’. She said, Stonewall were wrong to use the term “bigot” and that it was important to “respect people who have a different view”.
Ms Davidson one of the few supporters of Equal Marriage in the Conservative Party in Scotland announced she had separate from her partner of five years last week.