27/02/2013 10:20 GMT

Cardinal Keith O'Brien's Replacement, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, 'Condemned For Anti-Gay Remarks'

The Archbishop set to replace Cardinal Keith O'Brien as the head of Catholic church has been accused in the past of making "upsetting and painful" anti-gay remarks.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will govern the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a permanent successor is appointed after Cardinal O'Brien stepped down amid allegations of "inappropriate" behaviour towards fellow priests.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow will replace Cardinal Keith O'Brien

However the Archbishop of Glasgow became mired in controversy earlier in 2012 after saying at a Oxford University conference "If what I have heard is true about the relationship between physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true, then society has been very quiet about it.

"Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so and nobody said anything and why his body should just shut down at that age, obviously he could have had a disease which would have killed anyone, but you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing."

His comments came after Labour MP David Cairns died suffering from acute pancreatitis aged 44. Cairns' partner later said his remarks simply "added to his pain and grief."

Dermot Kehoe told the BBC at the time: "This has not only upset me and David's family, but it added to our grief and pain and he [Archbishop elect Tartaglia] hasn't shown any contrition for doing this."

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the former leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland was given the 'bigot of the year' award

Cardinal Keith O'Brien was formerly voted by 10,000 supporters to receive the Stonewall 'bigot of the year award' in November after calling off talks with the Scottish government over same-sex marriage earlier that year, comparing the reform to the re-introduction of slavery and describing it a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right."

He has also compared gay marriage with paedophila, saying: "What if a man likes little girls? Can he adopt a little girl and then just have a little girl at home? We are working towards the destruction of any sort of moral standards."

Cardinal O'Brien has denied the allegations of "innappropriate abuse" which preceeded his resignation and is taking legal advice.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: "These are painful and distressing times for the archdiocese. I also feel pained and distressed.

"With the grace of God, I will do my very best to oversee and govern the archdiocese until the appointment of a new archbishop. I ask for your prayers."