The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for 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 notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation last week allowing just virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said that they considered his action”a violation of confidence”.
They are looking for legal advice.
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 a vacant church throughout the first lockdown last year
He called the movement both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and at first reading seem to be draconian, going farther than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with throughout the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We shall be seeking 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 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 manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current restrictions on Mass, stating there’s a ban on all big indoor gatherings because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a critical imposition for a whole lot of people and whenever public health information deemed it safe, people Mass would be permitted.
He also stated he would be happy to meet the bishops.
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