Bishop reluctantly moves diocesan synod online

Bishop reluctantly moves diocesan synod online

Bishop Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, pictured against the backdrop of St. Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

THE annual Diocesan Synod, organised by Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Paul Colton, which involves clergy and lay representatives from the diocese, will not be held in person as planned, but will now take place online.

The ceremony will take place on November 27 at 11am in a video conference format.

Writing to the clergy and lay members of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Synod, Bishop Colton said he had been looking forward to the meeting, which was planned to be held in person at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

However, the bishop said in the interests of health and safety an online forum was decided on instead.

“When I planned this year’s meeting for November 27 and arranged for it to be held in person in the Rochestown Park Hotel, I was looking forward, after an extended period of not gathering in a way that is so vital and energising for our life and fellowship as a diocese, to being in the same room with you all once again. I fully expected that I was safe in choosing what was then a distant date.

“We now know, however, that the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic is more volatile and complex than we anticipated.

“From news reports, we know that we are still not living in a settled and safe period. Moreover, we are all, particularly those of us in certain age groups, being urged to take personal responsibility and to restrict our contact with one another.

“Taking all this into account and being conscious of my pastoral responsibility as your bishop, I have decided not to pursue a course that might be imprudent or which might lead you into jeopardy.

“I have decided, with disappointment it has to be said, that the wise course of action is that we should not meet in person this year, once again, but that a brief functional meeting should take place using video conferencing facilities instead.”

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