Disgraced UK Cardinal: Sorry for My Bad Sex Behavior
Keith O'Brien apologizes to anyone he 'offended'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2013 1:13 PM CST
Cardinal Keith O'Brien unveils the worlds first Papal visit plaid, the St Ninian's Day Tartan, near the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday Sept. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/ David Cheskin/PA)

(Newser) – At first he denied claims of sexual misconduct. Now Keith O'Brien, Britain's most powerful cardinal, has issued a statement apologizing for "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 apologize and ask forgiveness." Facing accusations from three current priests and a former priest, the 74-year-old Catholic leader says he will spend his remaining days in retirement and have no part in public life, the BBC reports.

The accusations are similar—all alleging inappropriate approaches by O'Brien in the 1980s, usually after night prayers or late-night drinking. The former priest who pointed a finger at O'Brien told the Observer that he was "disappointed" by the Catholic church's "lack of integrity" and "the cold disapproval of the church hierarchy for daring to break ranks. I feel like if they could crush me, they would." Despite O'Brien's apparent interest in men, he has loudly opposed same-sex marriage rights in Scotland and was awarded "bigot of the year" by the gay rights group Stonewall.

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
Mar 4, 2013 2:20 PM CST
A pedifile predator is the lowest of low. For a clergyman to be one and take advantage of parishioners who put their trust and lives in him is even lower. But the lowest is when a religious organization covers it up!
Mar 4, 2013 10:15 AM CST
Confession made, everything solved.
Mar 4, 2013 9:59 AM CST
That seemed very carefully worded to be sorry that he offended anyone but not that he did what he did - or any promises that he won't do it again. Come on Catholics - we know many of the priests are actually good guys but you need to petition to have the bad apples thrown out - not allowed to retire with a pension or moved around. It's YOUR collection plate money that goes to these parasites. Why would you stand for an organization who consistently urges you to vote for a political party that demonizes the poor as freeloaders, but then gives your hard earned cash to pay for LEADERS who have broken the rules and hurt other people to retire in comfort...