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Deceased Catholic cardinal who abused priests asks ‘for forgiveness’ in his will

Deceased Catholic cardinal who abused priests asks ‘for forgiveness’ in his will

Cardinal Keith O’Brien

A Scottish Catholic Cardinal who admitted to abusing priests in the 1980’s has asked for forgiveness in his will.

In 2013, disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien admitted to sexually abusing priests.

A former priest accused him of improper sexual conduct in relation to a number of incidents in the 1980s.

Days later, he resigned from the church, writing a letter to Pope Francis and admitting to ‘sexual misconduct’

Keith O’Brien asks for ‘forgiveness’ in wake of his passing

O’Brien passed away in hospital in Newcastle, aged 80, in March.

Now, it has emerged that during his funeral the Cardinal asked for forgiveness from the people that he committed crimes against.

Holding the funeral, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, recognised O’Brien’s failings but said there was ‘great goodness’ in his life.

It emerged that O’Brien wrote: ‘I ask for forgiveness for all I have offended in this life’.

Catholic Cardinal handed resignation to Pope Francis in 2013

O’Brien was forced to resign as archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh in 2013, following the allegations

His resignation after three priests and former priest accused him of improper sexual conduct in relation to a number of incidents in the 1980s.

O’Brien’s letter to the Vatican read:

My sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.’

‘I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest.

Looking back over my years of ministry, for any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended.’

Double standards

Two of O’Brien’s victims revealed the Cardinal’s double standards when it came to gay rights and marriage equality.

Declaring ‘war’ on plans for same-sex marriage in the country, and likening it to slavery and child abuse, were some of his many comments.

It is thought his statements, such as describing homosexuality as a ‘moral degradation’, were a ‘tipping point’ for those close to him.