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Pope Francis accepts the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien

2015-03-20

Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh, Keith O'Brien, has waived his rights as cardinal, according to the Vatican.

The Pope has accepted his decision and asked the Church in Scotland "to continue with hope on the path of renewal and reconciliation."

Keith O'Brien previously resigned as Archbishop of Edinburgh and did not participate in the last conclave. The move was caused by episodes of excessive drinking and sexual relations with adults priests and a seminarian.

In May 2013, the Vatican announced that O'Brien would leave Scotland to dedicate several months to spiritual renewal, prayer and penance. Since it was not child abuse, more drastic measures were not taken.

Keith O'Brien has lost all the rights and prerogatives of the cardinalate, including participation in an eventual conclave. There are now 123 cardinal electors.

It is the second time that a cardinal has been forced to resign. In 1927, Pius XI accepted the resignation of French Cardinal Louis Billot.


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