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Cardinal admits sex misconduct

Cardinal Keith O'Brien has admitted his "sexual conduct fell below standards expected" during his time as a religious leader. The Cardinal, Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, resigned last Monday after claims of "inappropriate" behaviour.

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Cardinal O'Brien initially contested claims against him

Cardinal Keith O'Brien resigned last Monday following allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the 1980s. He initially contested the claims with a spokesman confirming he was "taking legal advice".

Cardinal Keith O'Brien was head of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

He had been due to travel to the Vatican to help choose the next Pope, as the only British Roman Catholic cleric able to vote.

But he removed himself from the papal conclave because he felt the allegations against him would be "too much of a distraction".

He then issued a statement saying: "Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologise to all whom I have offended."

O'Brien, who was Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, was created and proclaimed a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in October 2003. He had been due to retire when he turned 75 later this month.

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