The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for 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 acting in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
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 breach of confidence”.
They are looking for legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday a statutory instrument had been released a week on the topic.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church during the first lockdown last year
He called the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and initially reading seem to be draconian, going farther than the limitations we have been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel on 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 unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach understood the value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”into a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the recent limitations on Mass, saying there is a ban on all big indoor gatherings because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported Mr Donnelly said that he was aware it was a serious imposition for a lot of individuals and whenever public health information deemed it safe, public Mass could be permitted.
He also stated he would be happy to fulfill the bishops.
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Following a slow start, the rate of vaccinations has grown considerably in recent months. Mr. Biden, who originally said he wanted states to make all adults eligible to get a vaccine by May 1, then moved the deadline up as vaccinations accelerated. Mr. Biden has also set a goal of administering 200 million doses by his 100th day in office, and the nation is currently on pace to meet.