Cardinal Keith O’Brien

The former most senior catholic cleric in the UK, who recently resigned over sexual misconduct allegations brought against him by a number of priests, has admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct.

In statement, the anti-gay Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said: “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.

“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.”

He went on to say: “I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”

O’Brien has been a vocal opponent of the legalisation of same-sex marriage, calling it a “grotesque subversion”. He has also stated that gay people are “captives of sexual aberrations”.

The British media reported last week that a dossier of claims by three priests and a former priest against the 74-year-old cardinal accusing him of sexual impropriety was sent to the Pope in February.

O’Brien initially denied the allegations, which go back to the 1980s, and said that he was seeking legal advice. Nevertheless, he announced his resignation shortly thereafter.

According to the BBC, O’Brien is expected to face a Vatican inquiry once a new Pope has been selected.

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