The final days of Pope Benedict XVI have been plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct among top church leaders. On Monday, February 25, the Pope dealt with the latest scandal by asking Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the archbishop of Scotland, to immediately resign.
On Tuesday, February 26, Adam Taylor of Business Insider reported that O'Brien has been accused of "inappropriate touching", among other types of sexual misconduct.
According to Taylor, "[The] British newspaper The Observer reported that statements from members of the Catholic church included allegations that Cardinal O'Brien had taken an 'inappropriate approach', made 'inappropriate contact' and conducted 'unwanted behavior'.
Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson of CNN added on Tuesday, February 26 that O'Brien allegedly has a long history of inappropriate behavior.
According to CNN, "The announcement comes a day after a Sunday report by The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O'Brien that date back 30 years.
"The Observer did not recount details of the claims or identify any of O'Brien's accusers, but said one of the priests alleged 'that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him.'"
Catherine Deveney of The Observer reported that the four men submitted statements the week before Pope Benedict's resignation on February 11. They were concerned that the church would not fully address their complaints if O'Brien was allowed to participate in the upcoming papal conclave to elect a new pope.
According to Deveney, "'It tends to cover up and protect the system at all costs,' said one of the complainants. 'The church is beautiful, but it has a dark side and that has to do with accountability. If the system is to be improved, maybe it needs to be dismantled a bit.'"
Their plan apparently worked, because the pope asked O'Brien to resign right away instead of sticking with his original plan to retire on his next birthday.
According to CNN, "O'Brien told the pope in November that he would resign effective with his 75th birthday, on March 17. But Benedict decided to make the resignation effective immediately in light of the pope's imminent resignation, the Scottish Catholic Media Office said."