Pope forces out Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Benedict the pope has forced the abrupt resignation of Britain's most senior Roman Catholic as the church made a frantic attempt to minimise the impact of allegations of "inappropriate acts" committed by Cardinal Keith O'Brien against fellow priests.
O'Brien stood down as archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh the day after the Observer published accusations by three serving priests and a former priest about his conduct towards them during the 1980s.
He issued a statement in which he ambiguously apologised for "any failures" and to those he had "offended", and announced that he would no longer travel to the Vatican to help select a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who retires at 8pm on Thursday. O'Brien had been due to be the only British cardinal with a vote.
The cardinal revealed in his statement that he had been asked by the outgoing pope to stand down immediately. Already due to retire next month, the cardinal stated: "The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today."....Read more