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Scotland: Masses resumed. Prime Minister Sturgeon’s announcement. The Bishops’ thanks. “The joy of celebrating the Eucharist again”

“A great joy at the prospect of celebrating Mass again and a deep gratitude for those who worked hard to make this happen”. With these feelings, expressed in a release, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland welcomes the Scottish government’s announcement that the Eucharistic celebrations will be resumed as from July 15th. It was Nicola Sturgeon, the Prime Minister, who announced the news, explaining that Scotland has entered Phase three of lockdown, when hairdressers, libraries, museums and cinemas will be reopening. “In the last month, our parishes have got ready for a safe resumption of our joint prayers and for the celebration of Mass, which is at the centre of church life”, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, writes in his release on the other bishops’ behalf. “Being unable to attend Mass for many months has been a source of real sadness for the Scottish Catholics, and I am sure there will be great joy at the prospect of going back”. In addition, the Scottish Bishops thank “those who contacted the MPs and the Government to ask them for the reopening”. Actually, the Bishops’ Conference had cooperated with the Government to resume Mass but then the latter had decided to postpone it. The Bishops end their release “by thanking the Government and reminding the parishioners that they will still be dispensed from their obligation to attend Mass”.

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