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 behaving in a”covert manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing just virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his action”a violation of trust”.
They’re looking for legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware on Friday a statutory instrument was printed last week about the subject.
image captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in an empty church throughout the first lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are unclear and initially reading appear to be draconian, moving further than the limitations we have been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to advise several questions concerning the degree of the statutory instrument.”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled Irish bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday, 15 April.
Archbishop Martin said it was highly disappointing that despite the reassurances since the taoiseach knew the significance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”into a covert manner and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the recent limitations on Mass, saying 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 that he had been aware it was a significant imposition for a good deal of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it safe, public Mass would be permitted.
He also stated he would be delighted to meet the bishops.
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