By Vatican News staff reporter
In the statement, Scotland’s Catholic bishops say they welcome the recent announcement by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “foreseeing a return to our churches for the most important celebration of the liturgical year at Easter.”
They also welcome the recognition of the status of public worship implicit in this decision.
The Bishops stress that the Catholic Community “recognises the seriousness of the pandemic and is committed to working with others to avoid the spreading of infection.”
Number of worshippers
They go on to say that they anticipate “ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding the requirement of a numerical “cap” on the number of worshippers.”
The Bishops point out that as social distancing and hygiene measures continue to be observed in the Church they maintain that it would be “more appropriate for each church building to accommodate a congregation in proportion to its size rather than on the basis of an imposed number.”
In the statement, the Bishops of Scotland echo the timely words Pope Francis addressed to the representatives of countries to the Holy See on the 8th February 2021 in which he said:
Even as we seek ways to protect human lives from the spread of the virus, we cannot view the spiritual and moral dimension of the human person as less important than physical health.
The Bishops conclude by saying that the opening of churches “is a sign that the sacrifices endured so far are bearing fruit and gives us hope and encouragement to persevere.”