British Cardinal to skip papal conclave amid accusations - WFLA News Channel 8

British Cardinal to skip papal conclave amid accusations

Posted: Updated:
LONDON, ENGLAND (WFLA) -

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Britain's highest-ranking Catholic leader, says he is resigning as archbishop in the wake of misconduct allegations and will be skipping the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
    
The cardinal said in a statement Monday that he will not attend because he doesn't want media attention focused on him during the important session in Rome.
    
Experts said the decision not to attend the papal conclave is unprecedented; never before has a cardinal stayed away from a conclave because of personal scandal, according to Vatican historian Ambrogio Piazzoni, the vice prefect of the Vatican library.
    
The Vatican confirmed that O'Brien had resigned as archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh. It was accepted under the code of canon law due to O'Brien's age; he turns 75 - the normal retirement age for bishops - on March 17.
    
He said in a statement that he is in "indifferent health" and that he had offered his resignation last November. A church statement says the pope accepted O'Brien's resignation on Feb. 18.
    
"Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended," he said.
    
O'Brien has said through his spokesman that he is contesting allegations made Sunday in a British newspaper that three priests and a former priest have filed complaints to the Vatican alleging that the cardinal acted inappropriately with them.
    
The Observer newspaper did not name the priests, but it said their allegations date back to the 1980s. There were no details about the alleged inappropriate behavior.
    
The one-sentence Vatican statement issued Monday made no reference to those allegations.
    
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Sunday the complaints had been channeled through the office of the papal nuncio - the Vatican's ambassador - in London.
    
"The pope has been informed, and the question is in his hands," Lombardi said.
    
During a briefing with reporters at the Vatican last week, Piazzoni was asked about the campaign to keep Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the voting because he covered up sexual abuse by priests.
    
Piazzoni said while in the past some cardinals have been impeded either by illness or by interference from their governments, none has stayed away because of a stain on his own reputation.
    
He noted that any decision would have to be approved by the full College of Cardinals, given that the main duty of a cardinal is to vote in a conclave.
    
"The thing that characterizes a cardinal is to be an elector of the pope," he told reporters.
    

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • 1 dead, 1 sickened from flesh-eating bacteria in Sarasota

    1 dead, 1 sickened from flesh-eating bacteria in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:55:47 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    Sarasota County health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after one person died and another was sickened by a flesh-eating bacteria.
    Sarasota County health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after one person died and another was sickened by a flesh-eating bacteria.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • Back to School: Special shoe store for little girls

    Back to School: Special shoe store for little girls

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:51 AM EDT2014-07-30 10:51:59 GMT
    Colete Glover-Hannah has turned her living room into a mini shoe store.
    Colete Glover-Hannah has turned her living room into a mini shoe store.
  • NewsMore>>

  • 1 dead, 1 sickened from flesh-eating bacteria in Sarasota

    1 dead, 1 sickened from flesh-eating bacteria in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:55:47 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    Sarasota County health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after one person died and another was sickened by a flesh-eating bacteria.
    Sarasota County health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after one person died and another was sickened by a flesh-eating bacteria.
  • Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Florida's CFO: Insurance customers entitled to refunds

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:37:47 GMT
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
    Consumers who bought insurance plans but could not use them in the early days of the Affordable Care Act rollout should be able to get a refund, Florida’s chief financial officer told News Channel 8. Some customers who signed up for plans and paid premiums didn’t initially receive ID cards or numbers from insurance company Florida Blue in early 2014.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Small cars fare poorly in crash tests

    Small cars fare poorly in crash tests

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-07-30 07:59:53 GMT
    The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
    The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • Lawsuit: Failed Circumcision Never Happened

    Lawsuit: Failed Circumcision Never Happened

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:33:55 GMT
    Doctors accused of amputating a man’s penis during a circumcision asking for dismissal
    Doctors accused of amputating a man’s penis during a circumcision asking for dismissal
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.