The leader of the Irish Catholic Church is looking for an urgent meeting with the Irish government on what he calls a”draconian” ban on public Mass..

Archbishop Eamon Martin accused the authorities of acting in a”covert manner without consultation or notice”.

Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly signed a law a week allowing only virtual religious services due to the pandemic.

The archbishops said they believed his action”a violation of confidence”.

They’re seeking legal guidance.

In a statement, Archbishop Martin said he just became aware on Friday a statutory instrument was printed last week about the topic.
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picture captionA priest celebrating a internet Mass in a vacant church during the initial lockdown last year

He predicted the move both”provocative” and”draconian”, adding the legislation was”confusing and unnecessary”.

“The exact provisions are uncertain and at first reading appear to be draconian, going farther than the restrictions we have been cooperating with during the pandemic to date,” he said.

“We will be looking for legal counsel to advise on several questions regarding the degree of the legal instrument”

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin fulfilled 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 value of worship to those of Ireland, this statutory instrument was introduced”at a clandestine fashion and without notice or consultation”.

The Irish health minister has defended the present limitations on Mass, saying there’s a ban on most large indoor gatherings due to the risks introduced by Covid-19.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ has noted Mr Donnelly said he had been aware it was a critical imposition for a whole lot of people and as soon as public health advice deemed it secure, public Mass would be permitted.

He also said he would be happy to satisfy the bishops.

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