Another British cardinal, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, said Monday that the claims against O'Brien weren't necessarily evidence that the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church — which has been wracked by scandals over sexual abuse by priests — was in need of deep reform.
"There's always been sinners in the church but there's always been saints," he told BBC radio from Rome.
Murphy-O'Connor — who, at 80, is too old to vote in the conclave — said that while sometimes wrongdoing was the responsibility of the church, "sometimes it is just the weakness of individuals and the wrong that they do."
"To say that this is all in the church, I just don't think it is true," he said.
Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.
Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
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