Britains top Catholic bishop accused of inappropriate behaviour by four priests

Britain's top Catholic clergyman Cardinal Keith O'Brien accused of 'inappropriate behaviour' by four priests
Cardinal O'Brien, 74, faces claims of inappropriate attention by four priests
One priest alleges 'unwanted behaviour' after late-night drinking
Another priest said he was 18 when 'inappropriately approachedO'Brien now faces demands for his immediate resignation

O'Brien wrote of his concerns over same-sex marriage in Scotland in The Daily Telegraph.

He said the proposal represents a 'grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right'.

'Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child,' he added.

'It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.'

He also opposed the introduction of civil partnerships, saying he believes that 'such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved'.

After he was awarded the 'Bigot of the Year' award, Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said: 'In the past year the cardinal has likened the campaign for same-sex marriage to slavery, he has called it grotesque.'

Cardinal O'Brien, originally from Northern Ireland, has been Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh since 1985.

In November, he was named 'bigot of the year' by Stonewall, a gay rights charity, for his comments about same-sex marriage.

In August Cardinal O'Brien described it as a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right’.

Last week he said the Church should
overturn centuries of tradition and allow priests to marry as many
clerics struggle with celibacy and a wife and family could offer comfort
and support.

He said: ‘I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married.

'I realise that many priests have
found it very difficult to cope with celibacy… and felt the need of a
companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and raise a
family.’

The cardinal also appeared to support the
Catholic taboo of not allowing women priests, saying that the teachings
of Jesus do not mention the issue.

Abuse claims have dogged the papacy of Benedict XVI, who is to step
down at the end of February.