The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government of behaving in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing just virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his action”a breach of confidence”.
They are looking for legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument was published a week on the subject.
image captionA priest celebrating an online Mass in an empty church during the first lockdown last year
He predicted the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are unclear and initially reading appear to be draconian, going further than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel on several questions concerning the degree of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin met 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 introduced”in a covert fashion and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the present restrictions on Mass, stating there’s a ban on most large indoor parties due to the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a serious imposition for a good deal of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it safe, public Mass could be allowed.
He also stated he would be delighted to fulfill the bishops.
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