The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over what he calls for a”draconian” ban on public Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government of acting in a”clandestine manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing only virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a violation of confidence”.
They are seeking legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument had been printed a week on the matter.
picture captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in a vacant church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The exact provisions are unclear and at first reading seem to be draconian, moving farther than the constraints we have been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to advise 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 since 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 minister has defended the present limitations on Mass, stating there’s a ban on all big indoor gatherings because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a critical imposition for a lot of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass would be allowed.
In addition, he stated he’d be happy to fit the bishops.
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