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Disgraced Cardinal leaves Scotland

The Vatican has confirmed that Cardinal Keith O'Brien is to leave Scotland for several months after admitting improper sexual conduct. He resigned in February after three priests and a former priest alleged improper conduct back in the 1980s. The Vatican said Cardinal O'Brien is leaving "for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance".

A vatican statement said:

"His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, for the same reasons he decided not to participate in the last Conclave, and in agreement with the Holy Father, will be leaving Scotland for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer, and penance.

"Any decision regarding future arrangements for His Eminence shall be agreed with the Holy See."

He was planning to move to a house in Dunbar in East Lothian after vacating his official residence in Edinburgh, but reports suggest he was advised against this and told to leave the country.

Anne Lawrence from Ministers and Clergy Survivors of Sexual Abuse tells Premier's Des Busteed she's not convinced by the latest efforts by the Catholic Church:

Britain's most senior Catholic resigned from his post as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh earlier this year in response to allegations by priests.

In March, he admitted that his sexual conduct had "fallen beneath the standards" expected of him. Cardinal O'Brien was ordained a priest on in April 1965, was ordained Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh in 1985, and made a cardinal by John Paul II in October 2003. He was outspoken on a number of topics including abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. He also called for priests to be able to choose to marry saying he knew of many priests who had struggled with the vow of celibacy.

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