The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government of behaving in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing only virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions”a violation of confidence”.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument had been published a week on the subject.
picture captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in a vacant church during the first lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the law was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are uncertain and initially reading seem to be draconian, moving further than the limitations we have been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he said.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to advise on several questions concerning the degree of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin stated it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach knew the significance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”into a clandestine fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the present limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on all large indoor gatherings due to the risks introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said that he was aware that it was a significant imposition for a great deal of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass could be permitted.
He also said he would be delighted to meet the bishops.
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