The Archbishop who is temporarily replacing Cardinal Keith O'Brien has spoken of the "pain and dismay" he shares with worshippers as he took Mass for the first time since being appointed.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia told those gathered at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh that he understands that the archdiocese is in a "state of shock for the loss of its shepherd" following the cardinal's resignation.
The Pope appointed the Archbishop of Glasgow to govern the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a permanent replacement is chosen.
Pope Benedict XVI, who is stepping down after nearly eight years as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, named him apostolic administrator after Cardinal O'Brien resigned from the post on Monday amid allegations, which he denies, of inappropriate behaviour towards fellow priests.
Archbishop Tartaglia told the congregation: "I am glad to be with you today, even if I wished, very much wished, that the circumstances were other than they are.
"I want first of all to say that I appreciate that this archdiocese is in a state of shock for the loss of its shepherd. Let me assure you that I and the whole church in Scotland share your pain and dismay.
"On Tuesday evening I celebrated a Lenten Station mass in a church in Glasgow and I can tell you that the mood of the congregation was very sombre for what had happened, and I felt I needed to encourage them and try to give them new hope. And I would like to try to give you hope too by asking you to focus your gaze on Jesus Christ who is, alone, our Saviour and our Good Shepherd."
He asked them to pray for the appointment of a new Archbishop and said he did not know how long it would be before one is named.
"The office entrusted to me by the Holy Father, the office of the apostolic administrator, is by its nature provisional and temporary. It is governed by the principle 'no innovation'. The apostolic administrator does what has to be done but doesn't produce new initiatives which will commit his successor. So, it's a humble act of service and administration," he said.
"While I hold that office, I promise that I will do my best, with the help of God, to oversee and govern this archdiocese."