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The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities over what he calls a”draconian” ban on public 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 just virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said that they considered his actions”a violation of confidence”.
They are looking for legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument had been printed a week about the subject.
image captionA priest celebrating a internet Mass in an empty church during the initial lockdown last year
He called the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the law was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and initially reading seem to be draconian, going further than the limitations we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We will be looking for legal counsel to counsel on 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 stated it was highly unsatisfactory that despite the reassurances given that the taoiseach knew the significance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”into a clandestine fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the current restrictions on Mass, saying there’s a ban on all large indoor parties due to the risks introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said that he was aware it was a serious imposition for a good deal of individuals and whenever public health information deemed it secure, people Mass would be allowed.
He also stated he’d be happy to fit the bishops.
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