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Pope's perv hunter probes ex-cardinal; Top investigator put on case of disgraced O'Brien se O'Brien.

Byline: DAVID TAYLOR

THE Catholic Church's top sex investigator is to probe allegations against former cardinal Keith O'Brien.

The disgraced ex-head of the Catholic Church in Britain will be investigated by Maltese Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

Scicluna, who is known for aggressively probing alleged sexual abuse in the Church, will travel to Scotland next week to look into O'Brien's alleged sexual behaviour.

O'Brien, who was formerly Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, resigned in disgrace in February last year just days before Pope Benedict XVI abdicated.

Britain's one-time most senior Catholic churchman faces allegations of inappropriate sexual relations going back to the 1980s.

Three priests and one former priest from O'Brien's archdiocese have accused him of unwanted sexual advances. O'Brien previously admitted his sexual conduct had "fallen beneath the standards" expected of him as a bishop.

Scicluna has reviewed hundreds of case files of priests who were eventually dismissed from the ministry for sexual abuse.

The investigation was announced by O'Brien's successor Archbishop Leo Cushley.

He informed his clergy of the Vatican investigation via two letters on Tuesday. They state that Pope Francis has to testimony present clergy ... incidents misconduct against them by of the clergy asked Scicluna to "listen to and report the testimomony ny offered by past and present members of the clelerg rgy ... concerning any incididen ents ts ts of sexual miscondudu du duct committed agaiainst them em by other members of the clelerg rgy whomsoever".

". Dominican Father er e Tho homas Doyle, a civil lawyer whw o ha ha h s worked for survivors of sexual abuse by clerergy, said he had never heard of susu such ch an investigation on bef efore. e He said: "That at's 's ver ery unusual indeed, I've nev ever er heard of a cardi dina nal be be be bein ing investigated like ththis is by the Holy See."

Father Thomas lawyer who has survivors of by clergy, said heard of such before. "That's very I've never cardinal being this by visit Thursday. revealed has Scicluna will vi visisit the archdiocese from om Tuesday to Thursdaday. y Cushley also revea eale led the Maltese bishop has asked those who wish to speak with him to "prepare their narrative in writing".

O'Brien is thought to be staying at a monastery in Cumbria.

CAPTION(S):

EXPERIENCED Scicluna

ORDER Pope Francis wants Scicluna to gather information
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 5, 2014
Words:394
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