Premature speculation about Scottish cardinal being forced to 'step down'

Some premature speculation in the national secular press today about Cardinal Keith O’Brien ‘stepping down’ and the reasons why. While no longer president of Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, as cardinal he remains the most senior catholic clergyman in Scotland until his retirement. The fact is the torch is naturally being passed to the next generation of bishops, no one is being ‘forced’ out. Read full report in this Friday’s SCO.

Official release:
The Herald twits on the facts:
The Scotsman twist on the facts:

Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien passes the torch, but remains on frontline and is NOT being forced out.

Catholic report:

From The Herald

The Cardinal, who is using a stick to aid his mobility, recently spent over a week at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where the cellulitis, which can cause gangrene or heart inflammation, was halted.

He cancelled engagements recently after he was unable to travel from his Edinburgh home to a radio interview in Falkirk.

From The Scotsman

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said “age, more than health” had been the reason behind the cardinal decision to leave the post.

Statutory retirement for the president of the Bishops’ Conference comes into effect at the age of 75, meaning they are unable to serve in that post.

Cardinal O’Brien will celebrate his 75th birthday in March, meaning he could have only completed four months of a new term if re-elected.

The age issue seems convincing. But his poor health is worrying, and one more reason to pray for him.

The timing of this handover of leadership, however, is unfortunate since it is occurring while the Bigot of the Year controversy is still fresh.

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