From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Pope Francis accepts Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien‘s resignation
O’Brien to step down from clerical duties following allegations of sexual misconduct, but will retain his title
Friday 20 March 2015 13.56 GMT
O’Brien will retain his title, but he will be reduced to strictly private life. The resignation followed the decision by the pope to send a personal envoy, archbishop Charles Scicluna, to Scotland last year to investigate the allegations.
Francis reached his decision based on the inquiry. Its contents are only known fully know only to the pontiff and Scicluna. O’Brien’s decision followed a private discussion with Francis. …
O’Brien resigned in 2013 amid allegations published in the Observer of sexual impropriety made by three priests and one former priest. O’Brien was Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric at the time, and he was ordered by the Vatican to spend a period of time in “prayer and penance”.
A year ago, one of the men appealed directly to Pope Francis to intervene, describing the church as a “formidable machine” and accusing officials of having “passed the buck, misrepresented the truth, engaged in cover-up and … shamelessly procrastinated”.
“I want to ask Pope Francis can you sort this out,” the man told the Observer.
O’Brien, who was due to retire in March 2013, was an outspoken opponent of gay rights. He condemned homosexuality as immoral, opposed gay adoption, and argued that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved”.
It is understood that the first allegation against the cardinal dates back to 1980. The complainant was then a 20-year-old seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, where O’Brien was his “spiritual director”.