The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is seeking an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls for a”draconian” ban on people Mass..
Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the government of acting in a”clandestine manner without notice or consultation”.
Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a regulation a week allowing only virtual spiritual services as a result of pandemic.
The archbishops said they believed his action”a violation of confidence”.
They are seeking legal advice.
In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he only became aware of Friday a statutory instrument had been published a week on the matter.
picture captionA priest celebrating an internet Mass in an empty church during the first lockdown last year
He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, including the law was”unnecessary and confusing”.
“The precise provisions are unclear and initially reading appear to be draconian, moving further than the constraints we’ve been cooperating with during the pandemic so far,” he explained.
“We shall be seeking legal counsel to advise on several questions concerning 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 value of worship to the people of Ireland, this statutory instrument was released”in a covert fashion and without consultation or notice”.
The Irish health minister has defended the recent limitations on Mass, saying there is a ban on all big indoor parties because of the dangers posed by Covid-19.
Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported that Mr Donnelly said he was aware that it was a significant imposition for a good deal of people and once public health advice deemed it safe, people Mass would be allowed.
In addition, he said he would be happy to fulfill the bishops.
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