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The chief of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government over what he calls a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of behaving in a”clandestine manner without consultation or notice”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law last week allowing only virtual religious services due to the pandemic.
The archbishops said they considered his actions”a violation of confidence”.
They are looking for legal information.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware of Friday a statutory instrument had been printed last week on the subject.
image captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in an empty church during the first lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are uncertain and initially reading appear to be draconian, going further than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he said.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to counsel on several questions concerning the extent of the legal 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 understood the significance of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”in a clandestine manner and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current restrictions on Mass, saying there’s a ban on most big indoor gatherings because of the risks posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said that he had been aware that it was a serious imposition for a good deal of individuals and whenever public health information deemed it safe, public Mass would be permitted.
In addition, he said he’d be happy to fulfill the bishops.
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