Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in Britain, has died at the age of 80.
The cardinal, who resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after apologising for sexual misconduct, was hurt in a recent fall.He was being cared for in Newcastle and was transferred to hospital there after suffering a head injury.
His successor administered the last rites on Friday, on the eve of the cardinal’s 80th birthday. Commenting upon the news of his death, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion. In death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.”
Cardinal O’Brien resigned in February 2013 after three priests and a former priest alleged improper conduct back in the 1980s. He initially contested the allegations but later apologised, saying his sexual conduct had “fallen beneath the standards” expected of him