Bishops’ of Scotland Message to Clergy and People
Let us not grow tired of doing good. (Gal 6:9)
The Covid-19 Pandemic has presented the Church with unprecedented challenges. It has brought about the temporary closure of Churches and, following the resumption of public worship, the introduction of rigorous health and safety measures to prevent transmission of the virus.
Since the resumption of public worship our parishes have been meticulous in controlling infection and ensuring the safety of all those who cross the threshold of a Catholic church. The Bishops wish to commend the work and cooperation of priests, parishioners and volunteers whose extraordinary efforts have ensured that Catholic churches are among the safest places for people to attend in the midst of this Pandemic.
However, we are now at a fragile point. The rate of Covid-19 infections is on the rise across Scotland and public anxiety is increasing. At this critical moment, we ask that we all persevere in our efforts to reduce the risk of transmission and to ensure that our parishes and communities adhere to all infection control measures that have been put in place.
Our discussions with the Scottish Government assure us that Government is aware of our extremely careful protocols and trusts us to see to our public worship and parish life with the discretion of responsible citizens. We, for our part, assure Government that we are employing this discretion for the good of public health in accordance with the law.
On that basis, we have every confidence that, if parishes continue these high standards, public worship and parish life can carry on and we will continue to attend to the spiritual welfare of the nation.
From long experience of plagues and disasters, the Church knows how the want of prayer and faith can do great harm to the spiritual wellbeing of nations, and how our public worship – owed to God – can bring His special divine assistance in times of national trouble.
Now, more than ever, our church doors need to be open, and consolidating our hard work to date will ensure this blessing for ourselves and for our country.