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The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a”clandestine manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing only virtual spiritual services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions”a breach of confidence”.
They’re seeking legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument had been published a week on the matter.
image captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in an empty church during the first lockdown last year
He predicted the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the law was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The exact provisions are uncertain and at first reading seem to be draconian, going further than the restrictions we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he said.
“We shall be looking for legal counsel to counsel on several questions concerning 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 understood the significance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”into a covert fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the current restrictions on Mass, stating there’s a ban on most big indoor parties because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a critical imposition for a good deal of individuals and as soon as public health information deemed it secure, public Mass could be permitted.
He also stated he’d be delighted to satisfy the bishops.
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