Church leaders said it was a "sad moment" following an admission from Britain's most senior Catholic cleric that his sexual conduct "had fallen beneath the standards" expected of him.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien will face a Vatican inquiry, though it is unlikely to be before a new Pope is chosen.
Three priests and a former priest accused the cleric of inappropriate behaviour dating back to the 1980s.
I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.
The cardinal, who stepped down from his post as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in the wake of the scandal, has asked for forgiveness.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien's temporary successor Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said it was a "sad moment" for the church.
More top news
Prime Minister insists the UK will maintain a strong relationship with Europe especially on trade and security, even after it leaves the EU.
Cloudy, with outbreaks of rain spreading northeast across the UK, however northern Scotland remaining largely dry until later.
The five-year-old was bitten on the face and had to undergo surgery to her eyelid after the dog attacked her at an event in West Yorkshire.