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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Peace be with you!

For several weeks now, we have all been living through something we did not expect and for which we had no time to prepare ourselves, no real precedents to guide us, no previous experience to reassure us. A microscopic virus has thrown the whole world into disarray, including our normal Catholic life. In these circumstances we, the Bishops of Scotland, want to address you as we are reminded that Jesus alone is our great Hope.

First of all, we want to express our closeness to those of you who have lost friends or family to Covid-19 and have not been able to grieve for them in our accustomed ways. We think, too, of those who have been unwell or have felt the pain of isolation in recent weeks, of their loved ones who have not been able to tend to them because of restrictions and also those whose treatment for other conditions has been delayed.

We are mindful especially of those of you who are alone, or in care homes, or in hospitals. We hope you have found comfort and consolation. Though public worship has been suspended, the sacrifice of the Mass has still been offered, and Jesus our High Priest “is always living to make intercession” for us (Heb 7:25). God does not abandon his people. So, even in the midst of all this, we can thank the Lord and you for so many good things.

"On this Pentecost Sunday I am thinking of all the girls and boys whom I was scheduled to confirm in the time after Easter and whose Confirmations have been postponed. I have really missed those Masses of Confirmation.

"To all of them, I send my greeting, blessings and prayers. I have not forgotten you. I assure them that the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost will not come to nothing, and we will celebrate those joyful Sacraments for you as soon as we can."

Archbishop Tartaglia has composed a rich reflection on the great Feast of Pentecost ... there is something in this for everyone, old and young, far from the Church and close to the Church. Read it today ...

“A word to our boys and girls. The Lord loves you. So do your parents, teachers and all of us. We all do, and we want the best for you. Take care of yourselves, stay safe, support one another as best you can, say your prayers, and may God bless and protect every one of you…” with these touching words Archbishop Philip concluded his message to all involved in Catholic education this week. Read the full text here:

I celebrate this Mass with the Catholic educational community especially in our hearts and prayers. I do that gladly on behalf of and with my brother-bishops who are all so deeply committed to Catholic education in their dioceses and in Scotland as a whole.

During this emergency many people have asked questions about their life of faith, about the implications of the restrictions and about practical matters. The following table offers responses to some of the most frequently asked questions.

1.            What if I can’t get to Confession?

If you cannot get to Confession then do not be afraid – God’s love and mercy overcomes even the current restrictions. Just tell God the sins you have committed, tell Him that you truly love Him and that you are truly sorry for what you have done, tell Him that you intend not to commit these sins again and that you intend to go to sacramental Confession as soon as matters return to normal.

2.            Can I go to Confession by telephone or using a video messaging app?

The confessor and the penitent need to be both actually present for the Sacrament. This is true of every Sacrament – just as a priest cannot consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ by phone so he cannot absolve sins by phone.

My dear friend. The current emergency means our churches have had to close, but costs remain and some parishes are in a difficult situation.

If your own circumstances allow it, please consider helping us by donating £5 during this worrying time.

We have set up a system whereby you can simply text RCARCHGLA to 70085 to donate £5.

Please share this emergency donation option with others, especially those who may be anxious because they normally contribute to their parish through collection envelopes.

Thank you to all of you who are united with us in this difficult time. God bless you and your family.

+Philip Tartaglia

Archbishop

During the current emergency technology offers us the possibility of assisting at Mass even when we cannot be physically present.

Live streams of Masses in the Cathedral will take place at 8.15am, 1pm and 5.15pm Monday to Saturday.  Achbishop Tartaglia will offer a 12 noon Mass on Sunday from the Cathedral and will address the Archdiocese during his homily.  Details for streaming of Cathedral services (and other parishes which have set up live streams) follow:

St Andrew’s Cathedral:

 

https://watchmcnmedia.tv/camera/st-andrews-cathedral 

 

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