Archbishop Eamon Martin, Primate of Ireland, Calls Government Restrictions on Church Gatherings "Draconian" and Seeks Legal Advice
In a statement, on April 18th 2021, Archbishop Eamon Martin, said he became aware of the latest government measure on Friday, April 16th and consulted with the other Archbishops.
According to RTE, the Archbishop said they considered the move, together with the associated penal provisions, to be "provocative" and "draconian".
The archbishops say are now seeking legal advice and need an immediate meeting with the government's minister Donnelly.
"Together with other Churches and faith communities, we have been cooperating fully with public health messages for more than a year now," they said.
The prime minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin met bishops, including Archbishop Martin, on Thursday.
Statutory Instrument 171 of 2021 with penal provisions, published without consultation, is confusing and unnecessary with regard to public worship. The Churches have been cooperating fully with #COVID19 restrictions to protect health, life and the common good. @DonnellyStephen pic.twitter.com/8tapyZsf7r— Eamon Martin (@ArchbishopEamon) April 18, 2021
The Archbishops said they consider this to be a "breach of trust".
The chair of Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council has said he is also disappointed by the measure to outlaw religious services.
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri said faith communities have suffered enough and this is the second Ramadan that his community has been unable to visit a place of worship.
He said he is in agreement with the Catholic Archbishops and he is also considering taking legal advice.
Places of worship and faith taken measures to secure their buildings with social distancing, and masking. Religious services are essential for the well-being and mental health of many people. (Edited from RTE.com)
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 18, 2021