The leader 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 acting in a”covert manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law last week allowing just virtual spiritual services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a violation of trust”.
They’re looking for legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware on Friday a statutory instrument had been published last week on the issue.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in a vacant church during the first lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, moving further than the constraints we have been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel on 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 said it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach understood the value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”in a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current restrictions on Mass, stating there is a ban on all big indoor gatherings due to the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said he had been aware that it was a serious imposition for a great deal of people and whenever public health information deemed it safe, people Mass could be permitted.
In addition, he said he’d be delighted to fulfill the bishops.
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