Man behind O'Brien claims attacks church response

The former priest who reported Cardinal Keith O'Brien to the Vatican over the allegations of "inappropriate" behaviour has attacked the Catholic church's response to the complaints.

Speaking prior to tonight's statement by O'Brien, the man, who remains anonymous, told The Observer he had been "disappointed" by the "lack of credibility" shown by the church.

In the newspaper's report, published today, he said:

There have been two sensations for me this week. One is feeling the hot breath of the media on the back of my neck and the other is sensing the cold disapproval of the church hierarchy for daring to break ranks. I feel like if they could crush me, they would.

The vacuum the church has created has allowed whimsy and speculation to distort the truth, and the only support I have been offered is a cursory email with a couple of telephone numbers of counsellors hundreds of miles away from me.

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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.