The SNP MP Margaret Ferrier attended Mass and read to the congregation the day after taking a coronavirus test in response to symptoms.
Ferrier has faced calls to stand down from Parliament since it emerged last week that she had travelled 400 miles on a train from London to Glasgow despite having already received a positive COVID-19 test result.
The MP is now facing renewed criticism after the Daily Record reported that she had attended Sunday Mass on September 27 at St Mungo’s Church in Townhead, Glasgow, where she gave a reading to a congregation of up to 50 people whilst suffering coronavirus symptoms and still awaiting her test results.
The following day Ferrier would travel down to London to give a speech in Parliament about the impact of the pandemic, receiving notice of her results later that day, and then on Tuesday she took a train back to Glasgow without consulting with party officials.
The Archdiocese of Glasgow said the latest reports were “disappointing” and reiterated its guidance that those with coronavirus symptoms should not attend Mass: “For the good of the whole community, it is important that anyone who is required to self-isolate does so in accordance with the government’s guidance, so anyone in that situation should not attend Mass. It is disappointing if this has not happened but we would like to reassure people that we fulfil all the government and church guidelines.”
Speaking to the Catholic Herald, Fr Frank Keevins CP, parish priest at St Mungo’s Church, confirmed that Margaret Ferrier did read at Mass on September 27 but insisted that volunteers had been fully informed of the current coronavirus guidelines.
“St. Mungo’s takes the safety and protection of all parishioners and all who attend very seriously whenever the church opens for any reason, and that we apply all the protocols meticulously to that end,” Fr Keevins said.
“If you go on to our website it clearly says that anyone feeling unwell, or who has any symptoms should not come to the church and that there is no obligation to attend Mass during this time. We have followed all the guidelines to the letter and will continue to do so.”
Ferrier, who is currently suspended from the SNP pending an investigation, is thought to be resistant to standing down despite facing calls from her party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, to “do the right thing” and resign.
Labour MSP Monica Lennon told the Record that the latest revelations make it clear that Ferrier should be removed by her party: “Not even a place of worship was safe from this MP’s selfish and dangerous actions. There is no end to Margaret Ferrier’s recklessness. The SNP must terminate her membership and resign her seat.”