London, Feb. 24 (Reuters): Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, a cardinal expected to take part in the conclave to choose the next pope, rejected today allegations that he had behaved in an “inappropriate” way with other priests.
The Observer newspaper said Cardinal Keith ’Brien, 74, the archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, who is known for outspoken views on homosexuality, had been reported to the Vatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years.
“Cardinal ’Brien contests these claims and is taking legal advice,” a spokesperson for the cardinal said.
Three priests and a former priest, from a Scottish diocese, have complained to the Vatican and demanded ’Brien’s immediate resignation, the newspaper said, adding that they wanted the conclave to choose Pope Benedict’s successor to be “clean”.
The Observer gave little detail on the allegations but said one complainant said ’Brien made an inappropriate approach after night prayers. Another priest complained of unwanted behaviour by 'Brien after a late-night drinking session.