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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Barrow deacon says Catholic church is ‘strong enough to survive crisis’

THE Catholic church is strong enough to survive the latest crisis brought about by allegations against Britain’s most senior cleric.

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FORCED OUT Cardinal Keith O’Brien

That is according to Deacon Nick Donnelly, of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Barrow, speaking after Cardinal Keith O’Brien was forced out of the top post as Archibishop of Edinburgh and leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics.

The Pope had initially accepted his resignation in November last year but it was due to happen in March. Instead it has taken immediate effect.

Deacon Donnelly said it was a “sad note” for Archbishop O’Brien to end his career on, saying he had “given his whole life to the service of the church”.

He added: “For him personally, it’s a tragedy.

“But do I think it will affect the church in the long term? No, I don’t.”Archbishop O’Brien was immediately removed from office after allegations emerged of inappropriate behaviour towards young priests.

It is thought he was forced out in a bid to prevent the scandal overshadowing the election of a new pope.

But Deacon Donnelly said the Catholic church had the strength and resilience to recover from the scandal.

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