Parish life for Scotland’s Catholic communities is not expected to return to normal until 2021, according to the church.
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has formed a Covid-19 working group to look at how best to meet long-term pastoral needs during the pandemic.
It will aim to ensure the church is prepared for extended measures on the operation of parishes and dioceses.
Activities within parishes are expected to have some form of restriction until next year, the conference said.
Bishop Brian McGee, chairman of the group, said: “After our public masses stopped and our churches closed with almost no warning, the immediate response from our priests and parishioners across Scotland was both impressive and uplifting.
“With great ingenuity and creativity, online masses and devotions were made available throughout the country every day.
“Through this and other action, many vulnerable and lonely people continue to be supported in safe ways.
“While it will be wonderful when our parishes can reopen, we recognise that parish life cannot quickly return to normal until a vaccine or a treatment is available.
“We do not expect this to happen until at least 2021.
“This means that even when churches reopen, parish activities will still be greatly restricted, our pastoral working group hopes to identify and publicise advice or resources to help dioceses and parishes face fresh challenges in a safe manner.”
Early figures indicate high numbers of viewers are watching and downloading masses and devotions online, according to the conference.