Celebration of Catholic sacraments


Sir, – I am loath to tell Catholic bishops how to respond to the Government ban on allowing the sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation to be celebrated. But after hearing about the Tánaiste’s dismissive text saying “they’re off”, I feel I can no longer stay silent. Bishops have described the Government’s communication as “not respectful” but they need to be more robust in their interaction with Government Ministers and officials. 

The Catholic Church has demonstrated it can hold services in a safe manner. If up to 50 people can safely attend Mass why is it that a Baptism with a far smaller number cannot be celebrated in the church?

We have been told repeatedly that Ministers and Nphet are concerned that families may gather in larger numbers in homes after the church service.

Since when is the Catholic Church obliged to police gatherings in homes? Certainly my parish priest does not check that we are all going straight home after Mass! 

It is the function of the Garda to deal with gatherings that breach public health guidelines in any location. 

The bishops with the support of practising Catholics must ensure that Government understands the rights of Catholics to public worship and celebration of the liturgy without having to take on additional responsibility for individual behaviour outside of the church.

– Yours, etc,    



Dublin 24.