The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls for a“draconian“ ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a“covert manner without notice or consultation“.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law last week allowing just virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions“a violation of confidence“.
They’re seeking legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument was published last week on the subject.
picture captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He called the movement both“provocative“ and“draconian“, including the law was“confusing and unnecessary“.
„The exact provisions are uncertain and at first reading seem to be draconian, moving further than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,“ he explained.
„We will be seeking legal counsel to advise several questions regarding the degree 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 importance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released“in a covert manner and without consultation or notice“.
The Irish health minister has defended the current limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on all large indoor gatherings due to the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a severe imposition for a whole lot of individuals and as soon as public health information deemed it safe, people Mass would be allowed.
He also stated he’d be happy to meet the bishops.
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