Edinburgh, Scotland, Feb 25, 2013 / 05:55 am
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted Cardinal Keith P. O'Brien's resignation, and the cardinal has announced he will not attend the conclave.
"Approaching the age of seventy-five and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation as Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh to Pope Benedict XVI some months ago. I was happy to know that he accepted my resignation 'nunc pro tunc' – (now – but to take effect later) on 13 November 2012," Cardinal O'Brien said in a Feb. 25 statement.
The Pope decided on Feb. 18 that he would accept his resignation effective Feb. 25.
The cardinal recently became the focus of allegations by three priests and a former clergyman who say they received inappropriate sexual advances from him during the 1980s.
The leader of the Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese also announced that he will not be attending the conclave to elect the next Pope.
"I also ask God's blessing on my brother Cardinals who will soon gather in Rome to elect his successor. I will not join them for this Conclave in person," he said.
"I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me – but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his Successor," the Scottish cardinal added.
Pope Benedict will appoint an apostolic administrator to oversee the archdiocese until the next Pope chooses his replacement.