Cardinal Keith O'Brien's temporary successor has told a congregation there is little doubt the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been "dealt a serious blow".
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who is the Archbishop of Glasgow and apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrew's and Edinburgh, broke the Church's silence over Cardinal O'Brien's behaviour at a pre-scheduled Lent Mass in Glasgow tonight, saying;
This is a sad moment for the Church in our country.
The events around Cardinal O'Brien, his resignation, his statement of yesterday, have left us all very sad for everyone involved and for the Church.
Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over this matter.
The most stinging charge which has been levelled against us in this matter is hypocrisy, and for obvious reasons.
I think there is little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow, and we will need to come to terms with that.
Cardinal O'Brien is to face a Vatican inquiry after admitting yesterday that his sexual conduct "had fallen beneath the standards" expected of him during his almost 50-year career.
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