Archbishop Conti has said that Cardinal O'Brien withdrew support for an investigation into sexual abuse

The former Archbishop of Glasgow has said that Cardinal Keith O’Brien blocked an investigation into the Scottish Catholic Church’s handling of sex abuse in 2012.

In a letter to the Tablet, Archbishop Mario Conti wrote: “It was the intention of all but one member of the bishops’ conference to commission an independent examination of the historical cases we had on file in all of our respective dioceses and publish the results.”

He continued: “But this was delayed by the objection of the then-President of the Conference; without full participation of all the dioceses the exercise would have been faulty.”

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A statement from the Catholic Church in Scotland said: “Archbishop Conti’s letter refers to a decision taken in 2011 by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland to commission an independent academic analysis of statistics relating to abuse and allegations of abuse over a 60 year period from 1952 to 2012.

“This project, with the cooperation of each of the eight dioceses in Scotland, started and ran until 2012, at which time, the then President of the Conference, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, withdrew from the project.

“Without the participation of all the dioceses a ‘National Audit’ was not possible so the analysis was stopped.”

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