Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Sunday, 31 May 2009 15:17 UK

Greed of MPs attacked by cardinal

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Cardinal Keith O'Brien: "Some members of parliament have milked the system"

Britain's most senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has launched an attack on greedy politicians during an address in Edinburgh.

The cardinal said MPs had failed to set "objective standards of behaviour for a generation" and had "fallen from grace" during the recent expenses scandal.

At St Mary's Cathedral, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said a "love of money" has been at the root of the difficulties.

He called for those in public office to reclaim the high standards expected.

Cardinal O'Brien, the archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said: "I know that very many so-called ordinary people have been affected by the love of money of so many in positions of responsibility in our banking system and who have responsibility over pension funds.

"Those who possess a reasonable house, quite a good standard of living, and have arrangements made for their children and their pensions in due course, have been quite shattered at what has happened during this present economic recession - when a bank fails or when they suddenly discover that they have no pension funds available for their retirement."

He added: "Many other people have been equally shattered at what we might call the 'fall from grace' of many called to serve in politics and public life, with money at the root of many difficulties."



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