Pope Francis will have the final say over funeral arrangements for Cardinal Keith O’Brien, as the Catholic Church looks to draw a line under the scandal which ended his career.

Neither his archdiocese, nor the Catholic church in Scotland will have a significant role in the sensitive decision over where the Cardinal is laid to rest or what kind of ceremony he is afforded.

As Scotland has had only three Cardinals in the church’s recent history, there is limited precedent, but a bishop or archbishop who dies away from their diocese, would normally be returned there and honoured with a requiem mass, before being buried in a cathedral or diocesan cemetery.

HERALD OBITUARY: Keith O’Brien, cardinal whose tenure ended in disgrace

In 1999 Cardinal Thomas Winning had a funeral mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral in the archdiocese of Glasgow and was laid to rest in the cathedral’s crypt. Similarly Cardinal Gordon Gray had a requiem mass in St Mary’s Cathedral, in the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 1995, and is buried in the crypt there.

But Cardinal O’Brien, who died yesterday morning in hospital in Newcastle, had given up the rights and duties attached to his role after admitting to sexual misconduct, following allegations from former priests and a seminarian.

HeraldScotland: Keith O’Brien is given the title of cardinal by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2003

Although he retained the title of Cardinal, he was barred from public religious or civil duties and exiled to the north of England after “choosing” to resign his position five years ago after his private life was exposed.

A decision will be made in the next few days about what degree of ceremony will be accorded to him. It will be taken following “consultation” between the Holy See, including Pope Francis himself, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, who the pontiff appointed to manage the scandal, and Cardinal O’Brien’s family. He has one brother, Terry O’Brien who lives with his family in England.

A senior church insider said: “He’ll be given a Christian burial. But these discussions will consider whether the manner of his death and burial should be in keeping with the manner of his later life.”

If so, he said, that could mean Cardinal O’Brien’s death is marked with less pomp and he may be denied the honour of burial at St Mary’s Cathedral: “Given that he renounced the rights and privileges of a Cardinal in life, and chose a humble repentant withdrawal, it might be that he has more of a private funeral, and he maybe wouldn’t be buried in the Cathedral.”

HERALD OBITUARY: Keith O’Brien, cardinal whose tenure ended in disgrace

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said burial arrangements would be the responsibility of the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, where Cardinal O’Brien served until his spectacular fall from grace. An official spokesman for the Archdiocese added: “The funeral arrangements will be decided in the days to come. There will be consultation between the Holy See – the Holy Father will have an input – and Keith O’Brien’s familyas to where his requiem mass takes place and when and where he is buried.”

When Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the role of Cardinal, O’Brien was left only with the title and the red hat which accompany the honour.

He could no longer participate in consistories – occasional meetings in which the Pope can seek advice from his Cardinals and would have been unable to take part in a papal conclave, had one been necessary to choose a new Pope.

While not every bishop is buried in a Cathedral, it would be very unusual for an archbishop not to have a requiem mass or be afforded that honour.

However the scandal over O’Brien was hugely damaging for the church – he was revealed to have made homosexual advances to trainee priests and also to have had a long-standing relationship with another priest, despite preaching that gay marriage was “grotesque” and homosexuality “moral degradation”.

Last night The President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Joseph Toal offered their condolences to Keith O’Brien’s family.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends.”