17 October 2020 Bishops of Scotland Message


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
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.