The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls for 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 last week allowing only virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his actions”a violation of confidence”.
They’re seeking legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument had been released last week on the topic.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He predicted the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the law was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and initially reading seem to be draconian, going further than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We will be looking for legal counsel to counsel on several questions concerning the degree of the statutory instrument.”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled 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 value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”in a covert fashion and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health minister has defended the present limitations on Mass, saying there is a ban on all large indoor gatherings because of the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said that he was aware it was a critical imposition for a lot of individuals and once public health advice deemed it secure, people Mass could be allowed.
He also said he would be delighted to satisfy the bishops.
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