The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over what he calls a“draconian“ ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a“clandestine manner without consultation or notice“.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing only virtual spiritual services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said that they considered his action“a violation of confidence“.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware on Friday a statutory instrument was published a week about the issue.
picture captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church throughout the first lockdown last year
He called the move both“provocative“ and“draconian“, adding the law was“confusing and unnecessary“.
„The precise provisions are uncertain and initially reading appear to be draconian, going further than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,“ he explained.
„We shall be seeking legal counsel to counsel on several questions concerning the degree of the statutory instrument.“
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin met Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin stated it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach knew the importance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released“into a covert fashion and without consultation or notice“.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current limitations on Mass, stating there’s a ban on most big indoor gatherings due to the dangers introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a serious imposition for a good deal of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it secure, people Mass would be allowed.
In addition, he stated he would be delighted to meet the bishops.
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