The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking 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 law a week allowing just virtual spiritual services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his action”a breach of confidence”.
They’re looking for legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument had been released a week on the situation.
image captionA priest celebrating a internet Mass in a vacant church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He called the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, moving farther than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he explained.
“We shall be looking for legal counsel to advise 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 since the taoiseach recognized the importance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”at a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the recent limitations on Mass, stating there’s a ban on most large indoor parties due to the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a severe imposition for a good deal of people and whenever public health information deemed it safe, people Mass would be permitted.
He also said he would be delighted to satisfy the bishops.
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