El cardenal que hasta hace poco fue el máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica en Gran Bretaña reconoció el domingo haber cometido actos sexuales inapropiados, sin aclarar cuáles eran, y prometió "no tener más participación" en la vida pública de la iglesia, una declaración que llega en un mal momento para el Vaticano.


El cardenal Keith O'Brien renunció el lunes pasado como arzobispo de St. Andrew's y Edimburgo después un diario publicó denuncias de sacerdotes que no fueron identificados acerca de la conducta impropia del prelado.


En sus declaraciones iniciales, O'Brien dijo que renunciaba para no distraer la atención del cónclave de cardenales que debe elegir al sucesor del papa renunciante Benedicto XVI, y añadió que no asistiría al cónclave.


Pero el domingo, la Iglesia católica escocesa emitió un comunicado según el cual O'Brien dijo que en ocasiones "mi conducta sexual cayó por debajo de las pautas que se esperan de mí como sacerdote, arzobispo y cardenal".


"A quienes he ofendido, ofrezco disculpas y pido su perdón", dijo el comunicado. "A la Iglesia católica y al pueblo de Escocia también ofrezco disculpas. Pasaré el resto de mi vida en el retiro. No cumpliré más funciones en la vida pública de la Iglesia católica en Escocia".


O'Brien no dio el menor indicio de en qué consistió su mala conducta sexual, pero su declaración coloca nuevamente en el candelero los esfuerzos de la iglesia para dejar atrás los escándalos sexuales, que incluyen los de curas pedófilos.


Las denuncias contra O'Brien aparecieron por primera vez en el diario The Observer.

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  • Faithful pray in Castel Gandolfo's San Tommaso da Villanova church after Pope Benedict XVI blessed the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Robert Zollitsch

    Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference, right, holds his sermon during a thanksgiving service for outgoing pope Benedict XVI. at the St. Hedwig cathedral in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

  • Benedict XVI

    Pope Benedict XVI waves from the balcony window of the Pontifical summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, some 35 kilometers south of Rome, to a cheering crowd gathered to see him the day he ends his pontificate, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Faithful sing as they wait for Pope Benedict's XVI departure in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Faithful sing as they wait Pope Benedict's XVI departure in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Nuns wave to a helicopter with Pope Benedict XVI onboard in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Vatican employees take down Pope Benedict XVI's crest turns after he greeted the crowd from the window of the his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Benedict XVI turns away after greeting the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Benedict XVI walks away after addressing the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Benedict XVI blesses the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Faithful carry a banner in German reading "Thank You" as they watch a giant screen showing Pope Benedict XVI, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Norbert Lammert, Horst Seehofer, Angela Merkel

    Bavarian state governor Horst Seehofer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the German Federal Parliament, Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, bottom from left, attend a thanksgiving service for outgoing pope Benedict XVI. at the St. Hedwig cathedral in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

  • In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, faithfuls gather during a thanksgiving service for outgoing pope Benedict XVI. at the St. Hedwig cathedral in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

  • FILE- In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo. a general view of the gardens of pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Robert Zollitsch

    Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference, celebrates a thanksgiving service for outgoing pope Benedict XVI. at the St. Hedwig cathedral in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

  • FILE- In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, a view of the garden of pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome.. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, faithfuls gather during a thanksgiving service for outgoing pope Benedict XVI. at the St. Hedwig cathedral in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. At 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

  • FILE- This Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, shows a view of the hall ofthe pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, pictures of Pope Benedict XVI are seen at a newsstand outside the pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • FILE - In this , Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, Pierpoalo Turoli, responsible for pope's residences, opens a window of the pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, a view of a grotto inside the pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, in the town of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome. Immediately after his resignation on Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will spend some time at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo, overlooking Lake Albano in the hills south of Rome where he has spent his summer vacations reading and writing. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI leaves after greetings faithful from the balcony window of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Pope Benedict XVI greets faithful from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Pope Benedict XVI leaves after greeting faithful from the balcony window of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Pope Benedict XVI leaves after greetings faithful from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Faithful watch a giant screen showing Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Benedict XVI

    Pope Benedict XVI salutes a cheering crowd gathered to see him from the balcony window of the pontifical summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, before he officially ends his pontificate a few hours later. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

  • Pope Benedict XVI

    In this image taken from video, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his final message to the assembly of cardinals at the Vatican Thursday Feb. 28, 2013, before he retires in just a few hours. Benedict urged the cardinals to work in unity and promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in a poignant and powerful farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Vatican TV)

  • A poster of Pope Benedict XVI with writing reading in Italian," You will stay always with us. Thank you" is seen near Rome's Capitol Hill, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday, Benedict will leave the Apostolic palace inside the Vatican for the last time as pontiff, head to the helipad at the top of the hill in the Vatican gardens and fly to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome. There, at 8 p.m. sharp, Benedict will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Benedict XVI

    RECROP OF VAT103. In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message on the occasion of his farewell meeting to cardinals, at the Vatican, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Benedict XVI promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Benedict XVI

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message on the occasion of his farewell meeting to cardinals, at the Vatican, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Benedict XVI promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Benedict XVI

    In this image taken from video as Pope Benedict XVI deliveres his final greetings to the assembly of cardinals at the Vatican Thursday Feb. 28, 2013, before he retires in just a few hours. Benedict urged the cardinals to work in unity and promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday in a poignant and powerful farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Vatican TV)

  • Pope Benedict XVI

    FILE - This Nov. 23, 2007 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI leading a session of prayer and reflection with the College of Cardinals, at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Christophe Simon, pool, file)

  • Commemorative plates and mugs of Pope Benedict XVI, left, Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, center, and the late Pope John Paul II, are displayed at a restaurant in Manila, Philippines Thursday Feb. 28, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI formally resigns Thursday, the first pope to abdicate the papacy in 600 years. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino Roman Catholic devotee Betty Abainza shops for posters of resigning Pope Benedict XVI at a religious store in Manila, Philippines Thursday Feb. 28, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI formally resigns Thursday, the first pope to abdicate the papacy in 600 years. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • A Filipino salesclerk checks the price of posters, including that of Pope Benedict XVI, at a religious store in Manila, Philippines Thursday Feb. 28, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI formally resigns Thursday, the first pope to abdicate the papacy in 600 years. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino Roman Catholic devotee Betty Abainza shops for posters of Pope Benedict XVI at a religious store in Manila, Philippines Thursday Feb. 28, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI formally resigns Thursday, the first Pope to abdicate the papacy in 600 years. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 28: Pope Benedict XVI speaks to his cardinals during a farewell ceremony in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on February 28, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI will acquire the title 'Pope Emeritus' as he retires the pontificate today, and will travel to a papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome (Photo by L'Osservatore Romano / Vatican Pool via Getty Images)Alternate crop of #162827424

  • Benedict XVI

    FILE - This Sept. 6, 2006 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI wearing a "saturno hat", inspired by the ringed planet Saturn, to shield himself from the sun as he waves to the crowd of faithful prior to his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, files)

  • FILE - Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, in this April 19, 2005, file photo. Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who chose the name of Pope Benedict XVI, became the 265th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis/file)

  • In this photo released by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI receives German politician Horst Seehofer and his wife Karin during a private audience which followed his last general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • In this photo released by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI receives German politician Horst Seehofer during a private audience which followed his last general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Benedict XVI

    Faithful are reflected in the roof of Pope Benedict XVI's pope-mobile as he arrives to celebrate his last general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Gaenswein

    Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary George Gaenswein, left, wipes his eye as the Pope delivers his message during his last general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI reads a message during his final general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI opens his arms during his final general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI is about to leave at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI talks to his personal secretary George Gaenswein as he leaves at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Pope Benedict XVI kisses a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)