By RACHEL DONADIO and JOHN F. BURNS Published: February 25, 2013

job-resignationVATICAN CITY — Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric announced his resignation on Monday, a day after being accused of “inappropriate acts” with priests, saying he would not attend the conclave to elect a new pope.

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The cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said that he had submitted his resignation months ago, and that theVatican said Pope Benedict XVI had accepted it on Feb. 18. However, the timing of the announcement — a day after news reports of alleged abuse appeared in Britain — suggested that the Vatican had encouraged the cardinal to stay away from the conclave.

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