Archbishop’s dismay as Keith O’Brien ‘crisis’ engulfed church

STV News

June 18, 2019

Bernard Ponsonby

The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has spoken candidly about the lurid revelations that led to the resignation of his predecessor Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

O’Brien resigned in 2013 after allegations of inappropriate and predatory sexual behaviour towards four men, three of whom were serving priests.

Leo Cushley, a former Vatican diplomat, said he watched with great dismay from Rome as the crisis surrounding O’Brien engulfed the Scottish catholic hierarchy.

Archbishop Cushley described the crisis as one of the greatest for the church in Scotland since the Reformation.

He told STV: “Some thought he had been traduced and he had been maltreated. Others said ‘it’s a disgrace and I’ll never be back’.”

Shortly after succeeding O’Brien, Archbishop Cushley spoke with the Pope about the crisis, agreeing that Archbishop Charles Scicluna prepare a report for the Vatican.

Cushley told STV: “Some of his (O’Brien’s) rights were taken from him as a result of this process.

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