The leader 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”covert manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing just virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his action”a violation of confidence”.
They’re looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument was published last week on the situation.
picture captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in a vacant church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are unclear and initially reading appear to be draconian, going further than the limitations we have been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to advise several questions concerning the extent of the legal 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 since the taoiseach recognized the value of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”at a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the recent restrictions on Mass, saying there is a ban on all large indoor parties because of the dangers introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said he had been aware that it was a severe imposition for a good deal of individuals and as soon as public health information deemed it safe, public Mass could be permitted.
He also said he’d be happy to fit the bishops.
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