The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over 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 law a week allowing just virtual spiritual services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his actions”a breach of trust”.
They’re looking for legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument had been printed a week on the matter.
image captionA priest celebrating a 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 exact provisions are unclear and at first reading appear to be draconian, moving farther than the restrictions we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he said.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel several questions regarding 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 given that the taoiseach knew the value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”into a covert fashion and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health minister has defended the recent limitations on Mass, stating there is a ban on all big indoor gatherings due to the risks introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware it was a serious imposition for a great deal of individuals and as soon as public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass would be allowed.
In addition, he stated he would be happy to fit the bishops.
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