Catholic Church appeals to Taoiseach to allow some return to worship

Micheál Martin met four Catholic Archbishops to discuss Holy Week observance amid Covid-19 restrictions

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin and other archbishops held a virtual meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Friday. File photograph: Tom Honan

Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin and other archbishops held a virtual meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Friday. File photograph: Tom Honan

 

The Catholic Church hierarchy has expressed its strong desire to Taoiseach Micheál Martin that people might be allowed “to gather safely for the important ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter”.

At a virtual meeting with Mr Martin on Friday, Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O’Reilly and Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary emphasised the spiritual comfort and hope that participation in public worship brings to people of faith.

The archbishops reiterated their desire to return to worship, in particular during the season of Lent and with the approach of Holy Week and Easter. Easter this year falls on April 4th. Lent has already begun.

The archbishops asked that public worship resume when an easing of restrictions is considered. They also requested consideration of an increase in the number who may attend funeral Masses. A maximum of 10 mourners can currently attend.

The archbishops had asked for the meeting as part of ongoing dialogue regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on public worship.

The Catholic hierarchy reiterated its wish to continue supporting the public health message to protect health and well-being, especially among the most vulnerable.

A spokesman for Mr Martin said he thanked the archbishops for their support and acknowledged the importance of the Church community in many people’s lives at a time of particular stress and worry.

He outlined the ongoing concerns regarding the spread of the virus, particularly the new variants that have been identified, stressing that any increase at all in mobility could have serious consequences for public health and put pressure on the health service.

Mr Martin said the concerns raised at the meeting would be given consideration and it was agreed to maintain dialogue as the Covid-19 situation evolves.