Cardinal resignation 'was already in progress' , says Vatican

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Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, is stepping down as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church.

It follows claims, which he contests, of inappropriate behaviour towards priests dating back to the 1980s.

Father Thomas Rosica, Assistant Vatican Spokesman, said Cardinal O'Brien's resignation was already in progress on 18 February, before the allegations surfaced.

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