From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/uk-cardinal-resigns_n_2758151.html
By Gregory Katz and Nicole Winfield
LONDON — Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader, says he is resigning as archbishop in the wake of misconduct allegations and will be skipping the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
The cardinal said in a statement Monday that he will not attend because he doesn’t want media attention focused on him during the important session in Rome.
Experts said the decision not to attend the papal conclave is unprecedented; never before has a cardinal stayed away from a conclave because of personal scandal, according to Vatican historian Ambrogio Piazzoni, the vice prefect of the Vatican library.
The Vatican confirmed that O’Brien had resigned as archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh. It was accepted under the code of canon law due to O’Brien’s age; he turns 75 – the normal retirement age for bishops – on March 17.
He said in a statement that he is in “indifferent health” and that he had offered his resignation last November. A church statement says the pope accepted O’Brien’s resignation on Feb. 18.
“Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended,” he said.
O’Brien has said through his spokesman that he is contesting allegations made Sunday in a British newspaper that three priests and a former priest have filed complaints to the Vatican alleging that the cardinal acted inappropriately with them.
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