Scottish cardinal to stay away from conclave

Cardinal Keith O’Brien

Cardinal Keith O’Brien

March 4, 2013

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, 74, announced he would not participate in the conclave to elect Pope Benedict’s successor because he did not want media attention focused on him instead of the election of a new pope.

Pope Benedict had accepted the cardinal’s resignation as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh Feb. 18, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman said Feb. 25.

The British newspaper The Observer reported Feb. 23 that three priests and a former priest had accused the cardinal of “inappropriate conduct” with them going back to the 1980s.

O’Brien, 74, has denied the allegations and is seeking legal advice.