Disgraced Cardinal Keith O'Brien is facing fresh accusations of sexual misconduct, with one priest accusers claiming the fallen cleric was involved in dozens of incidents in the past.

Exactly a week after the Vatican announced it had found Cardinal O'Brien guilty of allegations of sexual impropriety, new claims have emerged that he preyed on seminarians and young clergy.

One priest involved in the first public allegations which led to the spectacular fall from grace told the Cardinal encouraged young clerics to attend the sacrament of confession, which he would take, in order to groom them for sexual contact.

In an interview with leading Catholic newspaper The Tablet, the priest, who has remained anonymous in the two years since the revelations emerged, said he believed that at least 40 cases took place from 1985, the year Cardinal O'Brien became archbishop, until 2010.

The priest, whose identity The Herald knows, told The Tablet how the Cardinal made an "unmistakeable" sexual advance to him at Archbishop's House in Edinburgh in 1990.

The serving cleric, who is not gay, said he rebuffed the advances and claimed Cardinal O'Brien acted afterwards "as if nothing had happened�he blanked it completely."

He also alleged pressure was put on priests to confess, which the Cardinal would hear.

He told The Tablet: "This is not a matter of people coming to him to confess, but him approaching them."

The Vatican announced last week that Cardinal O'Brien had been removed from all public life and forced into retirement

He was told by Pope Francis he would no longer be permitted to perform any public, religious or civil duties associated with the title, although he is still referred to as cardinal.

The sanction confirmed the Vatican had formally accepted the claims of the four priests who claimed Cardinal O'Brien's had been guilty of inappropriate sexual conduct with them. The Cardinal publicly accepted the sanctions and apologised

Now one of those who made the complaint has explained why he did not make earlier complaints.

He said: "Who would have believed me? Who could I have gone to that would have taken me seriously. The cardinal had his lawyers and they would have crushed me.

"You're controlled. You have no freedom of movement, of action. He can determine what your life is like."

The priest added that clergy might not have complained if Cardinal O'Brien had had a long-term partner, claiming: "It's not the fact that he was gay, which everyone knew about. But that he was a predator."

A spokesman for the Cardinal, who has been a close associate for many years and does not represent the church in Scotland, said: "Cardinal O'Brien refers any further inquiries regarding his past or present situation to the statements issued by the Holy See Press Office on Friday 20 March 2015 or by himself on the same date."

Following the announcement of his resignation, Cardinal O'Brien apologised to the "Catholic Church and the people of Scotland" and said his sexual conduct had fallen below the required standards.

The current Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh Leo Cushley also has described the actions of his predecessor, as damaging the Church's credibility and demoralising Catholics.

Archbishop Cushley added that "the archdiocese will always take seriously any allegations or complaints concerning mismanagement and will deal with these appropriately".