February 25th, 2013
09:34 AM ET

Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, mired in abuse claim, resigns

By John L. Allen Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst

Rome (CNN) - Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has resigned amid allegations that he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.

It is the second potential scandal to emerge amid preparations for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this week and the concave to select a successor.

In addition to O'Brien's resignation, Italian media has been abuzz in recent days with allegations that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes. That has set off speculation - denied by the Vatican - that a brewing scandal may have triggered Benedict's resignation.

O'Brien said he submitted his resignation to the pope months ago, citing his upcoming 75th birthday and his health, according to a statement released by the Scottish Catholic Media Office. Benedict accepted his resignation last week, the Vatican said Monday.

The resignation follows a Sunday report by the British newspaper The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O'Brien that date back 30 years.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom • Vatican

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Science

    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”


    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are


    Holy Hallucinations 35


    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution


    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420


    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.


    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.


    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |


    May 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  2. Kieran Waldron

    I am glad to see that the people of Scotland are abandobing the Catholic Church in large numbers. The Catholic Church is a false Christian church who by its teachings and practices contradict the Bible more than any other. If you want to know what the Bible really says on a whole lot of issues, visit the following website and click on each of the 20 headings in the left hand column: http://www.biblelight.org/bs1.htm

    March 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  3. Salero21

    Atheists and idolaters are very much alike, they are like monkeys in the barrel.

    February 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Hell again troll. Has your self-hate gotten to the point where you need to troll these boards again?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Harvey Rabbit

      Has anyone ever seen monkeys in a barrel? Or is it just a stupid thing that stupid people say?

      February 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      Atheists and idolaters sound like a pretty fun group pf people!

      February 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • ohmygod50

      Um.......are you insane? Most priests are repressed gays, or peodophiles. Benedict allowed them to be moved around or hidden world-wide during his tenure as John Paul's lackey.

      Of course, this was long after Benedict served his years in the Hitler youth.......WHERE WAS HE IN 1942 and 1944?

      He should be in jail. Period.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  4. EX catholic

    Any and ALL attempts to appear Surprised or Shock about all of this and more are nothing less than HIPOCRISY.

    Hypocrites are acting like if ALL of these Scandals and Perversions of the IDOLATERS and Perverts is something new or Unheard of for them. This is nothing new under the umbrella of the RCC. Anyone with a Basic Knowledge of the History of the RCC, its Operatives and its MODUS OPERANDI has always known that. That's been going on for Centuries. So STOP acting and Faking Hypocrites.

    February 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      you sounds just like those idolaters! We know your type, running around idolating all the time, hanging out with other idolaters who idly spend time watching American Idol. Idolaters are damned to an eternity of nothingness after death, like everyone else. So darn them idolaters!

      February 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  5. EX catholic

    Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has some knowledge of the History of the RCC, its operatives, manipulations and MODUS OPERANDI. Any attempt to appear surprised or shock about all of this and more is nothing less than HIPOCRISY.

    February 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  6. vinnie20

    The Church has real down grade sense the 1500 to the 1800 the Catholic church was one of the most powerful religious system back in the know instead of killing people that they did not like know they are raping people know I it hard to believe what a dramatic turn this was.

    February 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  7. Priests Like Little Boys


    February 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  8. Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

    I AM SHOCKED!!! not the katholic church?????

    February 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • EX catholic

      Idolatry and Romanism are not christianity. To confuse them with christianity is so foolish, that is beyond comprehension.

      February 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  9. The Bottom Line

    Wow! Even the bosses were boinking the recruits!

    But I'm sure the mandatory celibacy has nooooooooooooooooooooooothing to do with it.

    February 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  10. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill would not is not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their beliefs.

    Recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    On sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Say it aint so!

    February 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    ProTip: NEVER leave your children with someone that dresses like they live in the Dark Ages.

    February 25, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Now, that's not fair! A lot of Ren Fair folks are GREAT with kids!

      February 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • clarity

      LOL – true myweight. oyster shooters with habanero at the one in MD.

      February 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      i asked someone to the renaissance festival, but she turned me down. i was going to ask again, then i realized it was feudal

      February 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk


      and yes, leaving your kid with a stranger at the Ren Faire is probably safer, lol.

      February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • ..


      February 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Akira

    At least Cardinal O'Brien isn't insisting that he help to vote in the new Pope. A pity that Cardinal Mahoney doesn't follow his example.

    February 25, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 25, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 25, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      February 25, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  15. Earl

    Please be informed that Jesus never spoke about a coming end of the world but of THE COMING END OF ALL THE CHURCHES as he spoke about the coming end of the temples adorned with precious stones as written in Luke 21:5 -11 and those temples which will end has a teaching that Jesus warned us about that they (temples) will use to deceive many:
    In Luke 21:8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Jesus also clarifies this in Matthew 24: 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
    These buildings/temples that will fall has a teaching that will deceive many- They will come in Jesus' name and will preach that Jesus is the messiah or that "Jesus is the Christ" and will preach that the" time is near"-Jesus says that we should not follow these teachings for they are a deception!
    These temples that preach in Jesus name and claim that Jesus is the “Messiah” or “Christ” and that the “Time is near” or Time of the coming of Jesus is near are none other than the religions! They are the ones that Jesus warned us about not to follow. As a matter of fact, these events happening around the world today: earthquakes, wars and signs from heaven or these recent asteroids crashing in Russia are signs of the coming end of the religions!

    Read why these churches will fall: http://beforeitsnews.com/religion/2013/02/jesus-his-apostles-and-the-religions-made-us-worship-satan-and-not-the-true-god-2448776.html

    February 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      according to the bible, jesus will kill 2/3 of humanity at the end times when he opens his daddy's seven seals: death, war, plague, famine, etc. yep, jesus kills babies at the end of the world. loving and compassionate? lol.

      February 25, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  16. Reality

    And the march to the RCC's oblivion continues at a rapid pace !!! All religions will suffer the same fate.

    February 25, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  17. Doobs

    Another day, another scandal.

    February 25, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  18. Brother Maynard

    Wow .. I read the headline and thought that this guy acutally came to his senses and resigned because of the scandel. That he may have a gram of decency
    But really did it " ... citing his upcoming 75th birthday and his health"
    Clergy ( espcially at the Vatican ) == wasted life

    February 25, 2013 at 9:52 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.