(AGI) Vatican City, Mar 20 - Scottish Cardinal O'Brien whoadmitted that he had sex with seminarians entrusted to hiscare, on Friday gave up "the rights and prerogatives of acardinal" and Pope Francis "accepted the resignation", reportedthe Press Office of the Holy See. "This is not a punishmentthat comes at the conclusion of a trial but the acceptance ofthe request of the Scottish Cardinal matured during a longinner journey," said Father Ciro Bendettini, deputy director ofthe Press Office, explaining that the measure "concludes allChurch proceedings against O'Brien". "The Holy Father -reads a note from the dean of the College of Cardinals, AngeloSodano - has accepted the resignation of the rights andprivileges of a Cardinal, expressed in canons 349, 353 and 356of the Code of Canon Law, presented by His Eminence CardinalKeith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of SaintAndrews and Edinburgh, after a long period of prayer." "Withthis provision, His Holiness would like to manifest hispastoral solicitude to all the faithful of the Church inScotland and to encourage them to continue with hope the pathof renewal and reconciliation," Cardinal Sodano concluded.(AGI) . .