'Vatican to probe Cardinal O'Brien over sexual conduct'

Admits to 'inappropriate behavior' with priests

'Vatican to probe Cardinal O'Brien over sexual conduct'

Rome, March 4 - The Vatican is expected to launch an investigation into British Cardinal Keith O'Brien after he admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with priests, the BBC reported Monday. "The inquiry into his conduct will be an internal Church investigation and the results might not be made public," said religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott. O'Brien, who has resigned as archbishop of Scotland over the allegations, apologized Sunday for falling "beneath the standards expected of me". The BBC said Monday that the Vatican investigation into O'Brien will be carried out "under a new pope, not by the Church in Scotland, and any punishment will depend on the circumstances of his improper sexual conduct". O'Brien was slated to be the only British representative at the conclave to elect Benedict XVI's successor, which could begin the end of this week in Rome. He recused himself from the process after a former priest and three current priests from the diocese of Edinburgh and St Andrews came forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards them in the 1980s. "In recent days, certain allegations which have been made against me have become public," said O'Brien on Sunday. "Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them. However, I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal".

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