Cardinal Keith O'Brien

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

May 27, 2013

Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned as archbishop after admitting to sexual misconduct, will leave Scotland "for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance," the Vatican said.

Any decision about when the period will end or where the cardinal will live permanently will be made in agreement with the Vatican, said a statement released May 15 by the Vatican press office.

The statement did not specifically mention O'Brien's sexual misconduct.

Instead, it referred to "the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last conclave."

Retired Pope Benedict XVI accepted O'Brien's resignation 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.