Tartaglia admits Church's credibility undermined7 March 2013
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said that the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who the previous day admitted to sexual misconduct, had dealt the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland "a serious blow".
Archbishop Tartaglia was named last Wednesday as the apostolic administrator to temporarily run the cardinal's former archdiocese, St Andrews and Edinburgh. The Vatican accepted his resignation early after allegations of "inappropriate behaviour" were published in a national newspaper.
Speaking at a pre-scheduled Lent Station Mass in his own diocese, Glasgow, Archbishop Tartaglia said: "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."
He urged Catholics to endure "this sad time" with prayer, patience and hope. "We will heal and we will carry on," he said. "But we cannot be defeatist. The answer to this sad episode is not to throw in the towel," he added.
According to the Observer newspaper three priests and a former priest signed sworn statements detailing the allegations and submitted them to the Papal Nuncio to Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini. The Vatican will now investigate the allegations.
The cardinal has left the country.
There are also reports that a fifth man - a priest - made allegations against Cardinal O'Brien to the Congregation for Bishops last October.
Cardinal O'Brien said in a statement on Sunday that he will now spend the rest of his life in retirement and will play no further part in the public life of the Church in Scotland.
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