Catholic church plans to re-open parishes across Scotland

Proposed infection control standards, which will govern the reopening of parishes, have been finalised by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

By a News Reporter
Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 2:30 pm
Everyone will be asked to consider carefully whether or not they should return to church in the early phases.
Everyone will be asked to consider carefully whether or not they should return to church in the early phases.

The guidelines, which state there is no obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further notice, have been sent to the Scottish Government.

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Commenting on the progress being made towards parish reopening, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, said:

“A great deal of work has been done to provide guidance and support to clergy as they prepare for the phased reopening of our parishes. The guidelines have been prepared to reflect advice given in the Scottish Government’s Route Map on the gradual removal of restrictions. The Bishops’ Conference continue to engage with the Scottish Government and have today (Wednesday, June 3) sent a copy of the guidance document to them.”

Bishop Gilbert added: “We would hope to be able to issue our infection control and liturgical guidelines within the coming week. They will highlight the fact that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains dispensed until further notice and everyone is asked to consider carefully whether or not they should return in the early phases. We are mindful of our duty of care to elderly clergy and lay people, which together with social distancing reductions in capacity will mean that the availability of Mass may reduce in some areas.” Bishop Gilbert concluded: “We are asked, in the words of Pope Francis, to show ‘wisdom, foresight, and common commitment, so that all the efforts and sacrifices made so far will not be in vain’. In the hope that this pandemic will ‘stimulate our creativity, our ingenuity, and our ability to respond’, in a way that helps us ‘on the path of praise of the Lord and service to our brothers and sisters’.”