The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on people 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 last week allowing just virtual spiritual services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a breach of confidence”.
They are looking for legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he became aware on Friday that a statutory instrument was published a week about the matter.
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 appear to be draconian, moving farther than the restrictions we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We will be seeking legal counsel to counsel several questions regarding the degree 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 recognized the significance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”at a covert manner and without notice or consultation”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current limitations on Mass, stating there is a ban on most large indoor parties because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted that Mr Donnelly said he had been aware it was a critical imposition for a lot of people and once public health information deemed it safe, people Mass could be permitted.
He also stated he would be delighted to fit the bishops.
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