|Hypocrite Scottish cleric O’Brien tarnished church
The resignation of Britain's top Catholic cleric who was anti-homosexual, over damning allegations of sexual misconduct has dealt the Scottish church a “serious blow,’’ his replacement admitted.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, a Scotsman who resigned last week as the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, admitted on Sunday that his sexual conduct had “fallen below the standards expected of me.’’
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who has temporarily taken over O'Brien's role as administrator of the Archdiocese of Edinburgh and St Andrews, yesterday told an evening mass that it was “a sad moment for the church in our country, AFP reports.
“The events around Cardinal O'Brien, his resignation, his statement of yesterday, have left us all very sad for everyone involved and for the Church,'' he said.
“Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over this matter.
“The most stinging charge which has been leveled against us in this matter is hypocrisy – and for obvious reasons.
“I think there is little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow and we will need to come to terms with that.''
The 74-year-old O'Brien had been due to be the only British cardinal to vote on a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI following the pontiff's resignation on February 11. O'Brien resigned last week in the wake of claims that he made sexual advances towards priests.
The Scotsman, know to be anti-gay, was at first defiant and said he would contest the charges. Then he admitted them.