The top cardinal in the United Kingdom, Keith O’Brien, who’s been accused of “inappropriate” behavior with fellow clergy, is stepping down, effective immediately.
Mr. O’Brien is the most senior Roman Catholic in the Church for Scotland and the United Kingdom. He was due to help select the next pope, USA Today reports.
His resignation comes just as the Vatican was due to look into charges of “inappropriate behavior [he displayed] toward priests dating from the 1980s,” USA Today says.
Three priests and a former priest filed complaints to the Vatican, alleging Mr. O’Brien approached them in an inappropriate manner, The New York Daily News reports. Mr. O’Brien contests the allegations.
In a statement reported by USA Today, he said: “Approaching the age of 75 and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Andres and Edinburgh to Pope Benedict XVI some months ago. I was happy to know that he accepted my resignation ‘nunc pro tunc’ [now, but to take effect later] on 12 November 2012.”
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