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Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien © Paul Haring (KNA)

Pope Francis has offered condolences on the death of Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien. O'Brien had passed away at age 80. Recent years have been overshadowed by allegations of sexual harassment.

In a telegram released Tuesday, Francis sent condolences to Edinburgh Archbishop Leo Cushley and O'Brien's family and friends. At the same time, he commended the soul of the deceased "to the merciful love of God, our Father". The pope refrained from paying tribute to the former archbishop of Edinburgh's merits.

Abandonment of the 2013 papal election

O'Brien had died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Monday at the age of 80. Upon reaching the age limit for bishops in February 2013, he had resigned as archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh. The retirement was overshadowed by allegations of sexual harassment of candidates for the priesthood. O'Brien admitted moral lapses during his time as seminary director in the 1980s and renounced his participation in the papal election in March 2013.

In 2014, his successor Cushley filed sexual assault charges against O'Brien at the Vatican. In 2015, O'Brien lost his rights and privileges as a cardinal, but retained the title.

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