Anti-gay Cardinal Keith O’Brien quits after claims over ‘acts’ with priests

Leading opponent of same-sex marriage in Scotland, Keith O’Brien has resigned after claims he initiated ‘inappropriate behavior’ with priests

Anti-gay Cardinal Keith O’Brien quits after claims over ‘acts’ with priests
25 February 2013

Britian’s most senior Catholic and a leading opponent of gay and lesbian marriage, Keith O’Brien, has quit after claims he initiated ‘inappropriate acts’ with his priests.

The Vatican is going to investigate the claims.

Four priests, one who has now left the church, have accused the archbishop of ‘inappropriate behavior’ over 30 years.

The four all work or have worked in the Diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

He is contesting the claims and is apparently taking legal advice.

The Cardinal is 74 and was due to retire in March on his 75th birthday. But his resignation will mean he will not travel to Rome to take part in the election of the next Pope, following the shock resignation of Benedict XVI.

That’s something the alleged victims were keen to ensure, as they felt his journey to Rome would prevent a proper investigation into their allegations.

He was even considered a possible British candidate to be the next Pope.

Benedict XVI has agreed to O’Brien’s resignation and accepted it should take effect today (25 February).

But in bizarre twist, a Vatican statement suggested O’Brien actually resigned on 18 February, even though there was no public mention of him leaving until the allegations against him broke in The Observer newspaper yesterday morning. The four men who have made the claims filed them with the Pope’s ambassador in the week before Benedict’s own resignation on 11 February.

O’Brien has previously compared gay marriage to slavery, claiming it is a ‘violation of human rights’ and slammed its planned introduction by the Scottish and parliament and Westminster as ‘madness’.

He was named Bigot of the Year in 2012 by Stonewall, Britain’s leading gay campaign organization, amid protests by O’Brien’s supporters.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Bachmanns dispute Kinsey Scale during campaign stop

Michele and Marcus Bachman call Kinsey Report on number of gays in the population 'a myth'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Retired professional Irish hurler Connor Cusack comes out

Irish hurler Connor Cusack has followed his gay athlete brother Donal Og Cusack in coming out about his relationships with other men – though he says his relationships with women have been sincere and genuine
No thumbnail available

Australian person Norrie declared neither male nor female by court

The High Court of Australia has ruled that the state of New South Wales must recognize that Norrie is neither male nor female – ending the court battle to have Norrie recognized as such
No thumbnail available

Be a Woman premieres in Amsterdam this week

A documentary about drag queens in southwest China has its European premiere this week in Amsterdam
No thumbnail available

Italian 'populist' party wants gay marriage, trans rights and to stamp out gay hate

Former comedian Beppe Grillo's movement is asking the Italian Chambers to work on gay hate, same-sex marriage and gender reassignment
No thumbnail available

How Terry Higgins' death from AIDS started a gay fight back

As we mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Terry Higgins, the first person killed by AIDS in the UK, Will Harris says it was also the moment the gay community united and started to fight back
No thumbnail available

AP’s ban on word ‘homophobia’ is discouraging

Rev Irene Monroe says Associated Press have got it wrong with their decision to drop journalistic use of the word ‘homophobia’ as it is not a medical condition
No thumbnail available

Identity of Arizona lawman's ex-boyfriend revealed

Jose Orozco identified publicly and embattled Sheriff Paul Babeu does first in-depth interview
No thumbnail available

Last season of Glee to include a singing quarterback who happens to be gay

Marshall Williams, a Canadian Idol finalist in 2008, plays Spencer