The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over what he calls a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of behaving in a”clandestine manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing only virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his actions”a violation of confidence”.
They are looking for legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware of Friday a statutory instrument had been printed last week on the situation.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church throughout 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 initially reading seem to be draconian, moving further than the limitations we have been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel several questions concerning the extent of the legal instrument”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin said it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach understood the importance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”in a covert fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on all large indoor gatherings because of the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a critical imposition for a great deal of individuals and once public health information deemed it secure, people Mass could be allowed.
He also said he’d be happy to fit the bishops.
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