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The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government 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 due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they believed his actions”a breach of confidence”.
They’re seeking legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware of Friday that a statutory instrument was published last week about the matter.
picture captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, going further than the limitations we have been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We shall be looking for legal counsel to advise on several questions regarding the extent of the legal 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 given that the taoiseach understood the value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”at a covert fashion and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health minister has defended the present restrictions on Mass, saying there is a ban on most big indoor parties because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a severe imposition for a lot of individuals and whenever public health information deemed it safe, public Mass could be allowed.
In addition, he stated he’d be happy to satisfy the bishops.
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