Letterkenny, Ireland, Feb 17, 2021 / 16:01 pm
The worship of God is 'utterly essential' and political leaders need to be told this, the Bishop of Raphoe wrote Tuesday in a pastoral letter marking the beginning of Lent.
"It has been said by some persons in public service that 'religion is non-essential', that gathering for Mass and other religious services is less important than shopping or physical exercise or many other things. I know that some of you feel that, by cooperating as fully as we are with the government, we are acquiescing in the falsehood that God and his service and our public witness to him are not essential," Bishop Alan McGuckian of Raphoe wrote Feb. 16, the Tuesday after Quinquagesima.
He added that "parish communities all over Ireland took the utmost care to make sure that our churches are as safe as possible, and I am grateful for the dedication of clergy and countless numbers of volunteers who made this happen."
"I want you to know that I long for our churches to be open for Mass and the sacraments as soon as possible. We need to let our political leaders know that God and our worship of Him are central to us; they are utterly essential," Bishop McGuckian said.