Scotland’s national Catholic newspaper will be free this week in response to the suspension of public Masses in churches throughout the country.

The Scottish Catholic Observer, which has been keeping the faithful informed since 1885, has distributed the newspaper to parishes across Scotland, waiving the cover price this week as a goodwill gesture.

Churches across Scotland announced on Wednesday March 18 that Masses would be suspended until further notice due to the risk posed by the coronavirus outbreak. Many parishes across the country have since announced that they will open their church several times a week for Catholics to take part in private personal prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.

Peter Diamond, editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer, is hopeful that parishes will be able to distribute the papers to the sick, housebound and isolated over the next week to help regular readers get their SCO.

“This is a very difficult time for Catholics across Scotland with the suspension of public Mass indefinitely,” said Peter Diamond.

“We felt it was the least we could do for parishes and our readership this week, especially those who are perhaps not online or housebound."

Difficult times

He added: “Hopefully parishes will call on groups like SSVP, Legion of Mary or the youth in their parish to help post a copy through a parishioner’s door. It is difficult times like these that we really see the value in our Church community and I’ve no doubt that parishes up and down the country are already mobilising themselves for the greater good.

“We know it isn’t much but as a small business it is all we can afford to do at this time as our main aim is to keep the newspaper alive.”

The weekly news outlet, which has only two full-time editorial staff, is offering a brilliant subscription offer where readers and supporters can get the next six copies of the SCO delivered to their door for just £10.

“This is a chance to get the national and international Catholic news delivered right to your door, which will be handy I’m sure for our older readership who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter and rely on getting the paper at Mass,” added Diamond.

“The paper has been noted as a good resource for building up Catholic knowledge and keeping informed about the wider Church. Our regular contributors and features help create a sense of New Evangelisation, a key message of Pope Francis’ in recent years.

“You share a copy with members of your family or people who have perhaps drifted from the Church. One of our articles just might be a way back for your loved one.”

Support Scotland’s national Catholic newspaper.To take out a six week subscription to the Scottish Catholic Observer, which is delivered to your door for just £10  visit Alternatively, call 0141 241 4956 from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm where someone will handle your subscription over the phone.