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Scottish cardinal halted abuse inquiry

LONDON — A Scottish cardinal blocked an inquiry into cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic church of Scotland a year before resigning because of his own sexual misconduct, the church said Friday.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh in February after unidentified priests said he acted inappropriately toward them, objected to a church review of abuse allegations commissioned in 2011, retired archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti said in a letter to Friday’s edition of the Catholic newspaper the Tablet.

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O’Brien was the only member of the Bishop’s Conference to pull out of the review, and the project was halted because of his objection, Conti added.

The Scottish Catholic Church confirmed O’Brien withdrew from the inquiry in 2012, a year after it began. The church said the inquiry aimed to examine data relating to abuse in the Scottish church from 1952 to 2012. But ‘‘without the participation of all the dioceses, a ‘national audit’ was not possible, so the analysis was stopped,’’ the church said.

O’Brien, once Britain’s top Catholic leader, stepped down amid misconduct allegations.

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