Cardinal O'Brien to leave Scotland for period of penance, Vatican announces

Cardinal O'Brien to leave Scotland for period of penance, Vatican announces

                Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien

The Vatican announced today that Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, after admitting improper sexual conduct, would be leaving Scotland for several months of “spiritual renewal, prayer and penance.”

“Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See,” the Vatican statement said.

The terse Vatican announcement provided no details about where the Scottish cardinal would be residing, but the wording appeared to indicate that Pope Francis wants close follow-up on a scandal he inherited.

Cardinal O’Brien, 75, was recently photographed while moving his personal belongings into a church-owned cottage in Dunbar on the North Sea, where he planned to reside. With the Vatican announcement, those plans have clearly changed.

In February, the cardinal resigned as archbishop of Edinburgh and said he would not be attending the papal conclave that began March 12. Later, he acknowledged that his sexual conduct had “fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and a cardinal.”

At that time, he apologized to those he had offended and to the church and people of Scotland. Three priests and one former priest had alleged sexual advances by the cardinal in the 1980s.

The Vatican’s announcement today:

His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, for the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last Conclave, and in agreement with the Holy Father, will be leaving Scotland for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance. Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. Wendell wrote:
Given his apparent rejection of Archbishop Gomez's restrictions and defiant actions of late, one can only hope that the Vatican will also train a more focussed lens on Cardinal Mahony.

Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 2:46 PM

2. Greg wrote:
Now what about Cardinal Law? Admittedly he himself was never accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, but he did protect and harbor priest pedophiles and ended up archpriest of Santa Maria Maggiore (with a monthly stipend of 5,000 euros!!!) , where, if I'm not mistaken, he still resides, although he no longer is the archpriest. He was removed by Benedict XVI and replaced by Cardinal Archbishop Abril y Castelló in November 2011.

Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 3:54 PM

3. C. deVille wrote:
It is so meaningless when people apologize to "those I've offended" - Either you have done something wrong or you have not - offense taken by this or that person is irrelevant.

People who are sorry they were caught say that...Pet peeve...

Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 4:19 PM

4. mortimerzilch wrote:
the Vatican? I wish the article would be more specific than vague. Who? Who in the Vatican released this announcement? Does the Pope have a press officer? Was it another cardinal's consistory? I guess I will have to go to the Vatican web page to see if I can find out. The place O'Brien where is going to do penance...can that rightly be called "a penitentiary"? It might start getting pretty crowded over there....

Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 6:40 AM

5. Kelly wrote:
It is intriguing to me that Francis' homily was about bishops and how they should act came on the same they as this.

Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

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