"Like many people throughout the world, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign," he said.
"I know that his decision will have been considered most carefully and that it has come after much prayer and reflection.
"I will offer my prayers for Pope Benedict and call on the Catholic community of Scotland to join me in praying for him at this time of deterioration in his health as he recognises his incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to him.
"I hope I will also be able to rely on the prayers of Catholics across the world for the Cardinal Electors as we prepare to travel to Rome in order to participate in the conclave, which will be convoked to elect a successor as Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff."
Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and the former Bishop of Paisley, said: "We've all been surprised and shocked, it was very unexpected. I think we're all really trying to get our head round it - both people like myself and people from the Catholic community."