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The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish authorities on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a”covert manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law last week allowing only virtual religious services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a breach of trust”.
They’re seeking legal guidance.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday a statutory instrument was released last week on the situation.
image captionA priest celebrating a online Mass in an empty church throughout the initial lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are unclear and initially reading seem to be draconian, going farther than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he said.
“We will be looking for legal counsel to advise on several questions concerning the extent of the statutory instrument.”
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled 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 importance of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”into a clandestine fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health ministry has defended the current limitations on Mass, saying there is a ban on most large indoor gatherings because of the dangers introduced by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported Mr Donnelly said he had been aware that it was a critical imposition for a good deal of people and once public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass could be permitted.
In addition, he said he would be happy to fulfill the bishops.
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