By Vatican News staff writer
The Bishops of Scotland have sent a letter to the nation’s 500 parishes, urging the Catholic community to keep up their “meticulous” safety measures in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
While praising the work and cooperation of priests, parishioners and volunteers for their efforts, the Bishops note that Scotland is at a “fragile point”.
They point out the rate of Covid-19 infections “is on the rise across Scotland and public anxiety is increasing.”
“At this critical moment”, the Bishops are asking people to persevere in their 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.”
According to government guidelines, people can attend congregational services provided they follow the safety measures in place. Weddings and funerals can also take place but are subject to restricted numbers.
The letter highlights that “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, the Bishops underline, “our church doors need to be open, and consolidating our hard work to date will ensure this blessing for ourselves and for our country.”
Effects of Pandemic
Referring to the impact the pandemic has had on people’s lives over the last number of months, Bishop John Keenan, Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, noted “a surge in cases of depression, hopelessness and suicide.”
"The loss of normality in all its facets has left many feeling bereft and desolate, in need of spiritual solace, like never before."
Bishop Keenan stressed that it is in times of greatest peril that “we need the spiritual comfort of public worship most, now, more than ever, our church doors need to be open, so that worshipping in safety can continue.”