Keith O'Brien

Scottish Catholic cardinal (1938–2018)

Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien (17 March 1938 – 19 March 2018) was a Scottish Catholic cardinal. He was the Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh from 1985 to 2013.

Keith O'Brien
Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh
A photo of the Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien (cropped).jpg
ArchdioceseSt Andrews and Edinburgh
Appointed30 May 1985
Installed5 August 1985
Term ended25 February 2013
PredecessorGordon Gray
SuccessorLeo Cushley
Other postsCardinal-Priest of SS Gioacchino ed Anna al Tuscolano (2003–present)
Ordination3 April 1965
by Gordon Gray
Consecration5 August 1985
by Gordon Joseph Gray
Created cardinal21 October 2003
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameKeith Michael Patrick O'Brien
Born(1938-03-17)17 March 1938
Ballycastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Died19 March 2018(2018-03-19) (aged 80)
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
Previous postApostolic Administrator of Argyll and The Isles, Scotland (1996–1999)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
MottoServe the Lord with gladness
Coat of armsKeith O'Brien's coat of arms

O'Brien was opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, which he described as "moral degradation".[1]

O'Brien's resignation followed publication of allegations he had engaged in inappropriate and predatory sexual conduct with junior priests and student priests, also that he abused power.[2] He stepped down as a result.

On 20 March 2015, the Vatican announced that though he remained a member of the College of Cardinals O'Brien would not exercise his rights or duties as a cardinal, in particular voting in papal conclaves.[3]

O'Brien died from complications of a fall on 19 March 2018 at a hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne at the age of 80.[4]


  1. "Shamed Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien leaving Scotland 'for penance". The Independent. 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  2. Three months on, a cardinal is banished but his church is still in denial
  3. "Pope Francis strips disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien of privileges but not title". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  4. "Cardinal Keith O'Brien dies after fall". 19 March 2018 – via