Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation on Monday, a day after being accused of “inappropriate acts” with priests, saying he would not attend the conclave to elect a new pope.
The cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said that he had submitted his resignation months ago, and that the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI had accepted it on Feb. 18. However, the timing of the announcement — a day after news reports of alleged abuse appeared in Britain — suggested that the Vatican had encouraged the cardinal to stay away from the conclave.
“Everybody’s been struck by how quickly Rome responded,” said Austen Ivereigh, director of the British church advocacy group Catholic Voices. “Clearly Rome saw that there was sufficient substance to the allegations. They would not have told him to stand down unless they thought there was something worth investigating.”
Source: New York Times. Read full article. (link)