Now here’s something you don’t see everyday. Cardinal O’Brien joins an elite circle of folks founded when Cesare Borgia was the first person to ever resign from the cardinalate (17 August, 1498).
The Catholic Herald has the story.
A Vatican statement said: “The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the rights and privileges of a Cardinal, expressed in canons 349, 353 and 356 of the Code of Canon Law, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh, after a long period of prayer. With this provision, His Holiness would like to manifest his pastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church in Scotland and to encourage them to continue with hope the path of renewal and reconciliation.”
Following the Vatican announcement Cardinal O’Brien said: “I wish to repeat the apology which I made to the Catholic Church and the people of Scotland some two years ago now on March 3 2013. I then said that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me. For that I am deeply sorry.”
It’s been a long time coming. Will more follow? I have no idea. John Allen has some thoughts on the matter.
Pray for the faithful in Scotland, and everywhere else where the sexual abuse scandal has wreaked havoc.
Images from Wikipedia Commons.