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Catholicism in crisis

April 2013


The Catholic Church is still investigating Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, who resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him by priests.

     Outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, formally accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, earlier this year and is conducting an investigation into the complaints. It is claimed that three priests in Scotland, and a former priest, had lodged complaints to the Vatican’s ambassador to the UK.

     The news broke at a critical time for the Catholic Church, with the shock resignation of the pope and a protracted process of attempting to elect a new person to the papacy.

     The former cardinal O’Brien had been outspoken against the UK government’s plans to give gay couples the same marital rights as heterosexual couples, and was nominated for gay rights group Stonewall’s Bigot of the Year award.

     However, according to reports from the BBC, the former cardinal will face a Vatican inquiry — after the election of a new pope — after admitting his sexual conduct had at times ‘fallen beneath the standards expected of me’.

     The Catholic Church is already still investigating a litany of allegations into child abuse by priests, in an inquiry that stretches across the globe.