The chief 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 spiritual services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said that they considered his action“a violation of trust“.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday a statutory instrument had been printed a week on the topic.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in a vacant church during the first lockdown last year
He called the movement both“provocative“ and“draconian“, adding the legislation was“unnecessary and confusing“.
„The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, going farther than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,“ he said.
„We shall be looking for legal counsel to advise on 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 stated it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach recognized the importance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced“at a covert manner and without consultation or notice“.
The Irish health minister has defended the current limitations on Mass, stating there is a ban on all large indoor parties due to the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported Mr Donnelly said he had been aware that it was a significant imposition for a whole lot of individuals and once public health information deemed it secure, people Mass could be allowed.
He also said he’d be happy to fulfill the bishops.
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