Britain's top cardinal accused of 'inappropriate acts' by priests

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 24, 2013 09:10 hrs

, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain to the Vatican has been reportedly involved in inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years, three priests and a former priest in Scotland have reported.

The four, from the diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, have complained to nuncio Antonio Mennini, the Vatican's ambassador to Britain, and demanded O'Brien's immediate resignation.

A spokesman for the cardinal said that the claims were contested.

According to the Guardian, O'Brien, who is due to retire next month, has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights, condemning homosexuality as immoral, opposing gay adoption.

He has most recently argued that same-sex marriages would be 'harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved', the report said.

Last year he was named 'bigot of the year' by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

One of the complainants alleged that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him, resulting in a need for long-term psychological counseling.

According to the report, the four submitted statements containing their claims to the nuncio's office the week before Pope Benedict's resignation on 11 February.

They fear that, if O'Brien travels to the forthcoming papal conclave to elect a new pope, the church will not fully address their complaints, it added. (ANI)

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