Transcript for Cardinal Keith O'Brien Steps Down Before Pope Benedict's Retirement
rome, where scandal threatens to overshadow the election of the new pope. Tonight, just as pope benedict has moved up the date of t te, brain's cardinal, keith o'brien, stepping down, after reports that he behaved inappropriately. And now come questions about an american cardinal. Abc's david wright at the vatican again tonight. Reporter: Today, britain's cardinal keith o'brien said he will not attend the conclave, because his presence would be a distraction. This weekend, a british newspaper reported that four scottish priests claim o'brien made unwanted sexual advances on THEM IN THE 1980s, ALLEGATIONS O'brien denies. It's the latest of several scandals to threaten the dignity of this ancient process. Other voting cardinals are known to have covered up for pedophile prooelss. L.A.'S roger mahony for one. President obama's outgoing ambassador to the holy see today suggested mahony consider bowing out. He has for himself in terms of what is in the best interest of the church. Reporter: And then, there's the italian papers full of reports of a dossier prepared "for the pope's eyes only," supposedly detailing a sex and blackmail scandal in the vatican. This is beginning to sound like a dan brown novel. Well, the catholic church doesn't do dull. Reporter: Turns out a dossier does exist, the findings of an internal investigation into last year's vati-leaks scandal. But only the pope knows what's in it. Today, benedict met privately with the three elderly investigators. The italian press calls them "the 007 cardinals." The cardinals are known to know everything and so they say, I don't think this candidate is the best idea at this point, that will be taken very seriously. Reporter: Today, the pope issued new rules that could fast track this election, but ultimately, the timing will be up to the cardinals, david.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.