The Scottish Catholic Media Office said then that O’Brien contested the claims and was “taking legal advice.”
The same office released O’Brien’s new statement on Sunday.
Born in Northern Ireland, O’Brien moved to Scotland as a child, graduating in 1959 from the University of Edinburgh. Ordained as a priest six years later at age 29, he later held various positions — including as a math and science teacher, as well as rector and spiritual director — at schools in Scotland, in addition to working as a priest.
He was named archbishop in 1985 and became a cardinal 18 years later.
Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in percentages
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, meanwhile, is facing fresh attention over what role he may have played in the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests.
The Vatican has also been plagued by another scandal in recent days, as Benedict was ending his papacy.
Two Italian publications said Benedict, 85, resigned not because of his advanced age but because of a brewing scandal over the blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome.
Benedict received a 300-page report in December detailing the possible blackmail, la Repubblica newspaper and the Panorama news weekly reported, citing an unidentified senior Vatican official and dozens of unnamed sources.
The Vatican emphatically denied the allegations, with Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone criticizing a rash of “often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories” as the cardinals prepare for their conclave to select a new pope.