Church closures: Archbishop's message to parishioners

Archbishop Cushley has highlighted the "dismay and frustration" of Catholics following the temporary closure of churches this week.

In a video released by the Archdiocese today, he said: "Christians are called to love their neighbour, no matter who or what they may be or believe. And although we close our churches reluctantly, we do so in the service the public good."

His message follows a statement released earlier this week by the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, which questioned the decision to close places of worship.

The Scottish Government announced strong lockdown measures on Monday, which included closing places of worship, in the latest bid to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Archbishop Cushley's message 

My dear friends,

I'm sure you share my dismay and frustration at the closure of our churches once more, effective as of today. It had been my hope that the government would not take this final step, but here we are.

As Christians, we have a keen sense of the common good and of our civic responsibility. Christians are called to love their neighbour, no matter who or what they may be or believe. And although we close our churches reluctantly, we do so in the service the public good.

So, let me urge you to cooperate with the authorities in doing absolutely everything we can to bring the spread of this pandemic to a swift end.

Like many of you, I also look forward to a fresh appreciation of how safe our churches have been made and how essential freedom of worship is to us, and to many others in this country, something that is also a part of the common good, and that I fear is sometimes underestimated.

Meantime, I know your priests will do what they can to accompany you: we’ve already put many things online to help you, including recording and streaming Sunday Mass.

There are also resources to help individuals and families pray together, and especially to make Sunday holy. So, let’s be nimble and imaginative about how we practice our faith.

Above all, pray for all those affected by the crisis, those put out of work, those whose lives have been cut short by Covid, and those working in the medical and emergency services and risking their own health for the sake of others.

Finally, don’t forget to bring it to prayer: offer a Memorare every day for a swift end to the crisis.

God bless you!

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