Last week, the United Kingdom’s highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, resigned after accusations came out that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with several priests. At first, O’Brien contested the claims, but admitted in a statement this weekend that he is culpable for the allegations:
In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them.
However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.
To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness.
To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise.
I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no furtherpart in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
One of the five priests that accused O’Brien of misdeeds has said that he’s felt a “cold disapproval of the church hierarchy for daring to break ranks,” adding, “I feel like if they could crush me, they would.”
The British gay rights group Stonewall had named O’Brien their “bigot of the year” in 2012 for his relentless condemnations of gay people and their families. In response to his statement, Stonewall noted that he “didn’t find it in him to apologize to gay people, their families and friends for the harm his vicious and cruel language caused.”