VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is sending its former sex crimes prosecutor to Scotland this week to investigate allegations of misconduct stemming from disgraced Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s admission of sexual misdeeds.
The Vatican and Scottish church say Bishop Charles Scicluna will “listen and report on recent serious allegations of misconduct following a request from Pope Francis.”
O’Brien, once Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader, resigned in disgrace as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 and recused himself from the conclave that elected Francis pope after unidentified priests alleged he acted inappropriately.
O’Brien apologized and acknowledged he had engaged in unspecified sexual misbehaviour.
Until the National Catholic Reporter reported Scicluna’s visit, the Vatican had not confirmed it was investigating the allegations. The matter is particularly sensitive given O’Brien’s rank as a cardinal.