Church holy day changes sought


The Irish Bishops Conference has written to the Vatican seeking permission to move the feasts of the Ascension and Corpus Christi from their traditional Thursdays to the nearest Sunday. The changes have been requested in a letter to the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship. A church spokesman said they were in line with established Catholic practice in other parts of Europe and in the US.

Under the proposals, Christmas Day and St Patrick's Day would continue to be celebrated on the dates on which they fall. A church spokesman emphasised that all the other feast days would be retained, but the obligation to attend Mass would be removed where they fell within a day of Sunday. At present, eight "holy days of obligation" are celebrated in Ireland.