The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls a”draconian” ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government of acting in a”covert manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing just virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a breach of confidence”.
They’re seeking legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday a statutory instrument had been published last week about the matter.
picture captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He called the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are unclear and at first reading seem to be draconian, moving further than the restrictions we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he explained.
“We will be looking for legal counsel to advise on several questions concerning the extent of the statutory instrument.”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin met Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin said it was highly disappointing that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach recognized the significance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”in a clandestine manner and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the present limitations on Mass, saying there is a ban on most large indoor parties because of the risks introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said that he was aware it was a serious imposition for a good deal of individuals and once public health advice deemed it safe, public Mass would be allowed.
In addition, he stated he would be happy to meet the bishops.
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