Cardinal Keith O’Brien is to leave Scotland for several months after admitting improper sexual conduct, the Vatican has confirmed.
Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric resigned in February after three priests and a former priest alleged improper conduct in the 1980s. He has indicated he will not contest the claims.
The Vatican said that with the Pope’s approval Cardinal O’Brien would leave Scotland “for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance”. It added: “Any decision regarding future arrangements for his eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See.”
The cardinal stepped down as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church after admitting his sexual conduct “had fallen beneath the standards” expected of him during his almost 50-year career.
He was an outspoken critic of homosexuality, which he had called a “moral degradation”, and opposed same-sex marriage.
It was reported earlier this month that the cardinal, originally from Ballycastle, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, was to settle in Dunbar, East Lothian.Reuse content