Cardinal Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien dies after fall

Opening of re-located Halyrude RC School, Peebles by Cardinal Keith O'Brien. His eminence blesses the school .

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Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in Britain, has died at the age of 80.

The cardinal, who resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after apologising for sexual misconduct, was hurt in a recent fall.

Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne early on Monday morning surrounded by family and friends.

Commenting on the news, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh said: ‘In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.’

Commenting on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Tartaglia said: ‘We have received the sad news of the death of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Emeritus Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh. I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends. I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.’

Former Bishop of Argyll and the Isles Bishop Toal commented: ‘I will pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died early this morning – may he rest in God’s peace. I extend my sympathy and prayerful support to his family, friends and all who mourn his passing. With constant hope in the Lord’s goodness and mercy.’