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Sexual misconduct cardinal dies

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O'Brien resigned as a cardinal in 2015, two years after admitting to and apologising for sexual misconduct.

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Vatican City The disgraced former head of the Catholic Church
in Scotland, Keith O’Brien, has died at the age of 80, the Vatican
said in a Monday statement.

O’Brien resigned as a cardinal in 2015, two years after admitting to
and apologising for sexual misconduct. He had been accused of making
unwelcome advances against priests reporting to him.

“[At times] my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected
of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended,
I apologise and ask forgiveness,” he said in 2013.

Before the scandal broke out, O’Brien was known as an outspoken
critic of homosexual rights. He led the Bishops’ Conference of
Scotland from 2002 to 2012.

He did not face criminal charges for his conduct, but the Vatican
forced him into “a period of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance”
and excluded him from the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.

dpa