Cardinal Keith O'Brien's funeral to be held in Newcastle

The funeral of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, formerly the Catholic Church's most senior figure in Britain, is to be held in Newcastle next month.

The 80-year-old, who resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after admitting sexual misconduct, had recently been injured in a fall and died in a Newcastle hospital on Monday.

The Catholic Church has announced the requiem mass will take place at the Church of St Michael in Newcastle on April 5 with Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, leading the service.

He will be buried the following day at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh in the grave of his mother and father, in accordance with his own wishes, the church said.

Cardinal O'Brien welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Scotland in 2010 (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Cardinal O'Brien welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Scotland in 2010 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Cardinal O'Brien resigned from his position in February 2013 after three priests and a former priest alleged improper conduct during the 1980s.

He initially contested the allegations but later apologised, saying his sexual conduct had "fallen beneath the standards" expected of him.

Announcing his death on Monday, Cardinal O'Brien's successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Archbishop Leo Cushley, said: "In life, Cardinal O'Brien may have divided opinion - in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace."

A statement from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: "The requiem mass of Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien RIP will take place at the Church of St Michael, Westmoreland Road, Newcastle, on Thursday April 5 at 1pm.

"As requested by the Holy See, the main celebrant and homilist will be His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.

"Donations to SCIAF's Lenten campaign in lieu of flowers please."

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