The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish government over what he calls for a”draconian” ban on people 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 a week allowing just virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his action”a violation of trust”.
They are looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument was released last week about the issue.
image captionA priest celebrating an online Mass in an empty church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The exact provisions are unclear and at first reading appear to be draconian, moving further than the constraints we have been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We will be looking for legal counsel to advise several questions regarding the degree of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin stated it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach knew the value of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”at a clandestine fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the present limitations on Mass, stating there is a ban on all large indoor parties due to the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a severe imposition for a whole lot of individuals and whenever public health advice deemed it secure, people Mass would be allowed.
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