In a letter sent to Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes, the bishops of Scotland have urged the Catholic community to maintain their ‘meticulous’ infection control and safety measures.
The letter points out, that the rate of Covid-19 infections is on the rise across Scotland and public anxiety is increasing, asking priests and parishioners, to ‘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’.
Commenting on the letter, Bishop John Keenan, Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said; “The tireless work of priests, parishioners and volunteers have ensured that Catholic churches are among the safest places for people to attend in the midst of this pandemic. The bishops are urging everyone to redouble their efforts to reduce the risk of transmission and ensure that we all adhere to the infection control measures that we have put in place.”
Bishop Keenan added: “Although no evidence has emerged of cases or clusters connected to our churches, we have every confidence that, if parishes continue their high standards of infection control, then public worship and parish life can carry on and we will continue to be able to attend to the spiritual welfare of the nation.
“Among the many terrible effects of this pandemic is 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. 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.”
Picture: Hand sanitiser beside a religious statue at a Catholic church. (Niall Carson/PA).