LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Pope Accepts Resignation Of Cardinal Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Cardinal Keith O'Brien stands at a window in a room in his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, in February 2013 when he first tendered his resignation over sexual misconduct allegations.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, accused of sexual misconduct, who will lose the "rights and privileges" of his clerical office but be allowed to retain his title.

O'Brien, 77, resigned as Archbishop of St. Andrews in 2013 in the wake of allegations that he had made sexual advances on a number of priests. Francis subsequently asked O'Brien to undertake "a period of prayer" but also launched an investigation into the charges.

On Friday, the Vatican announced that "The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the rights and privileges of a cardinal ... presented by his eminence Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, archbishop emeritus of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, after a long period of prayer."

Speaking to journalists, Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said the resignation was "not a punishment resulting from a process" but came from O'Brien himself.

While O'Brien "will no longer be invited to attend consistories and other gatherings of cardinals, including an eventual conclave for the election of a new pope, Benedettini said, he retains his faculties as a priest and retired bishop," according to The National Catholic Reporter.

The Washington Post writes:

"Some well-known church-watchers said the culmination of the case showed both Francis's desire to restore faith in church accountability and his emphasis on mercy by letting the cardinal keep his title.

"'It's incredibly significant that a cardinal has been stripped of his "rights and privileges"... it shows that the pope is serious about removing anyone accused of sexual abuse and harassment — even someone from the highest echelons of the church — from ministry. To me, it's also long overdue,' said the Rev. James Martin, a U.S. Jesuit who writes on Catholicism."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)