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Disgraced Cardinal Resigns After Sex Inquiry

Keith O'Brien gives up rights, privileges of cardinal
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2015 9:48 AM CDT
Disgraced Cardinal Resigns After Sex Inquiry
A Sept. 16, 2010, photo from files showing Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien speaking to the media in Edinburgh, Scotland.   (AP Photo/Scott Campbell, File)

(Newser) – After sending him away for "penance," Pope Francis has officially accepted the resignation of disgraced cardinal Keith O'Brien. The cardinal resigned as archbishop in 2013 when he was accused of inappropriately touching four priests, but the latest move means O'Brien will give up the rights and privileges of a cardinal, the Scotsman reports. He will, however, keep his title. The rare step, not seen since 1927, followed an investigative report into his actions, which a prosecutor described as "hot enough to burn the varnish" off Pope Francis' desk, the Tablet reports. "My sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me," O'Brien said in a statement, noting he "will dedicate the rest of my life in retirement, praying for those I have offended." (Read more Pope Francis stories.)

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