The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over what he calls for 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 a week allowing only virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions”a breach of trust”.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday a statutory instrument had been released a week on the situation.
picture captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in a vacant church during the first lockdown last year
He called the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, moving farther than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We shall be looking for legal counsel to counsel several questions regarding the extent of the legal 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 since the taoiseach understood the value of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”into a covert manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the present restrictions on Mass, stating there is a ban on all big indoor parties because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said he was aware it was a severe imposition for a lot of people and whenever public health advice deemed it secure, people Mass could be permitted.
In addition, he said he’d be happy to fit the bishops.
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