Scottish cardinal admits sexual misconduct

Cardinal Keith O’Brien

March 11, 2013

Less than a week after his retirement was announced, a Scottish cardinal has admitted to past acts of sexual misconduct.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the retired archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, issued a statement March 3 in which he said his sexual conduct had “fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and a cardinal.”

He stepped down Feb. 25 after the Observer, a British weekly national newspaper, carried a story detailing complaints of three priests and one former priest who alleged O’Brien had made homosexual advances toward them.

Initially, O’Brien, 74, disputed the allegations, but in his March 3 statement he apologized for his actions.

“To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness,” O’Brien said.

“To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologize.”

He added: “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.”