The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls a”draconian” ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of behaving in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing just virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions”a breach of confidence”.
They are looking for legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument was released last week about the subject.
image captionA priest celebrating an online Mass in an empty church throughout the first lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are unclear and initially reading appear to be draconian, moving farther than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to advise several questions regarding the extent of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin met Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin stated it was highly disappointing that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach understood the significance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”at a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the current restrictions on Mass, stating there’s a ban on all large indoor parties due to the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a serious imposition for a lot of individuals and whenever public health information deemed it secure, public Mass could be permitted.
In addition, he stated he’d be delighted to meet the bishops.
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