DUBLIN (CNS) — The Irish government said a COVID-19-related ban on Catholics attending Mass will be lifted May 10.
Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin made the announcement in an address to the nation April 29 as he revealed a new road map for the reopening of society.
Public worship has been banned since Dec. 26 amid increased cases — a move accepted by the Irish bishops’ conference and other faith leaders. However, the government provoked controversy earlier in April when Health Minister Stephen Donnelly made it a criminal offense for a priest to plan a public Mass or a Catholic to leave home to participate in Mass.
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, head of the Irish bishops’ conference, described this move as both “provocative” and “draconian.”
The prime minister announced in a televised address that up to 50 people will be permitted to attend Mass beginning May 10. Up to 50 people will also be able to gather for funerals and wedding ceremonies; however wedding receptions will be restricted to just six people, or 15 people if the reception takes place outdoors.
Ireland had the strictest restrictions on religious services in Europe and currently remains the only jurisdiction in the European Union where a ban on people attending ceremonies exists.
Three of Ireland’s 26 dioceses straddled the border with Northern Ireland and, north of the border, public worship has been permitted since March 26.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103