The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls for a“draconian“ ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of behaving in a“covert 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 confidence“.
They are seeking legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware of Friday a statutory instrument was released last week on the situation.
image captionA priest celebrating an online Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He predicted the move both“provocative“ and“draconian“, including the law was“unnecessary and confusing“.
„The exact provisions are unclear and initially reading seem to be draconian, going farther than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,“ he said.
„We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel 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 knew the importance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced“at a clandestine manner and without notice or consultation“.
The Irish health minister has defended the current limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on all big indoor parties because of the dangers introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said he had been aware that it was a severe imposition for a great deal of individuals and once public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass could be allowed.
He also said he would be happy to fit the bishops.
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