Britain's most senior Catholic cleric resigned Monday after allegations against him by four priests of "inappropriate behavior," The Los Angeles Times reported.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien said he would be stepping down immediately as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and is now seeking legal advice, The Los Angeles Times reported.
O'Brien will not participate in the election for the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, The Los Angeles Times reported.
"He made it clear that his resignation came under the pressure of the accusations," said Sandro Magister, a vatican expert with L'Espresso, The New York Times reported.
O'Brien's announced his resignation a day after The Observer newspaper reported that four men had made complaints to Antonio Mennini, the pope's diplomatic representative in Britain, on accusations that dated back to the 1980s, The New York Times reported.
O'Brien had informed the pope some time ago about his intentions to resign according to a statement issued by the media office of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, The New York Times reported.
Cardinals still remain eligible to vote for a new pope under any circumstances, even if they have been excommunicated, Bishop Juan Ignacia Arrieta, the secretary for the Pontificial Council for Legislative Texts told the New York Times.
O'Brien drew different headlines last week telling the BCC that the next pope should reconsider the church's priestly celibacy laws and having the papal conclave choose a new pontiff from Africa or Asia where church membership has been growing, The New York Times reported.