The man appointed to take temporary charge of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh has lamented the events surrounding Cardinal Keith O'Brien's departure.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese by Pope Benedict XVI following Cardinal O'Brien's resignation over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards three priests and a former priest.
The cardinal apologised to the Church and the people of Scotland in a statement on Sunday in which he admitted his sexual conduct had at times "fallen below the standards expected of me".
Speaking at a Mass in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, on Monday night the Archbishop said there was little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland "has been dealt a serious blow".
"This is a sad moment for the Church in our country," he said.
The Archbishop admitted it would take a long time for the Church to recover but urged the faithful not to be "defeatist".
"This sad time for the Catholic Church in Scotland will also pass," he said. "We will endure it with prayer and patience and hope.
"We will not forget for a long time, but we will heal and we will carry on."
He added: "The answer to this sad episode is not to throw in the towel. We need, rather, to renew our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to go about our business humbly."