The Catholic Church has told Cardinal Keith O’Brien that he is not to set foot in Scotland again and live the rest of his life as a hermit in a hidden address in England.
The cleric also faces a potential police investigation and a Vatican inquiry after admitting that his ‘sexual conduct fell well below the standards expected of a priest and archbishop’, throwing the Catholic Church in Scotland into crisis.
While the Cardinal’s replacement admits that Scotland’s Catholic Church’s authority has been ‘dealt a serious blow’, LGBT campaigners warn it risks missing the key lessons of the crisis.
According to the Daily Mail, O’Brien has been whisked away from Scotland and is now staying at a secret address at a property which is not owned by the church.
A source told the Daily Mail: ‘When told how he would need to live the rest of his life, he asked, “Am I to live like a hermit?” He was told that is exactly what it amounts to’.
The Catholic Church has launched its own internal investigation headed by the Vatican but celebrities lawyer Nick Freeman, has called on the police to investigate if ‘any criminal activities had taken place’.
Freeman told the Daily Mail that a closed Vatican led investigation ‘isn’t justice. Justice needs to be seen to be done and the Catholic Church has a moral and legal obligation to co-operate fully with any criminal investigation’.
However, a spokesman for Lothain and Borders police said the letter was not a ‘formal complaint’, and as previously stated to Gay Star News, no action will be taken by the force until one is filed.
Speaking with Gay Star News, veteran human rights advocate, Peter Tatchell said: ‘The police should open a criminal investigation to to determine the truth and face legal consequences for any illegal acts, just like the rest of us.
'If the Cardinal's actions involved unwanted sexual touching, he should face sexual assault charges.
'If they involved repeated sexual pestering, he should be prosecuted for harassment'.
Tatchell also criticized ‘the obscene haste with which the Catholic hierarchy has bundled Cardinal O’Brien out of Scotland’ which ‘suggests that the scandal might be bigger than the revelations so far.