The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government over what he calls a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law last week allowing only virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his actions”a violation of trust”.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument was released last week on the subject.
picture captionA priest celebrating a internet Mass in an empty church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, going farther than the restrictions we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,” he said.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to counsel on several questions regarding the extent of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin said it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach recognized the significance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”at a clandestine fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on most big indoor parties due to the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware it was a critical imposition for a whole lot of individuals and once public health information deemed it secure, people Mass could be allowed.
He also stated he’d be delighted to meet the bishops.
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