Pope Francis Accepts Cardinal Keith O'Brien's Resignation of Rights, Privileges of a Cardinal

Scottish Priest Known for Sexual Misconduct Will Hold Nothing Other Than Title of Cardinal

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«Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the rights and privileges of a Cardinal, expressed in canons 349, 353 and 356 of the Code of Canon Law, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, after a long period of prayer.»

In the form of communique, this news was made available today to journalists in the Holy See Press Office by its Vice-director, Father Ciro Benedettini, who spoke on the matter and distributed the brief statement from the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

«With this provision,» the statement added, «His Holiness would like to manifest his pastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church in Scotland and to encourage them to continue with hope the path of renewal and reconciliation. «

Responding to some questions,  Father Benedettini said that today «is not a punishment that comes at the end of a process,» but is the acceptance of the request of the Scottish cardinal after a long inner journey. He also noted this «concludes all proceedings of the Church against O’Brien.»

The Vatican spokesman reaffirmed to journalists present that O’Brien is still a cardinal, by title and name only, and still a priest, but no longer has any of the roles previously entrusted to him, including voting in the College of Cardinals.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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