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Tags: Coronavirus | Religion | ireland | priests | covid | communion | discrimination

Irish Catholic Priests Claim Discrimination in Sacrament Ban

Irish Catholic Priests Claim Discrimination in Sacrament Ban
St Mary's Chapel is pictured at St. Patrick's Purgatory, commonly referred to as 'Lough Derg', on Lough Derg, currently closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, near Donegal in Ireland, on July 27, 2020. (PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 August 2021 01:02 PM

There is a clash simmering between church and state in Ireland.

The Irish government has banned First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies in the wake of COVID-19, as they fear the parties that follow the ceremonies are super-spreader events for the disease. 

But priests in largely Catholic Ireland say they are being discriminated against as other gatherings such as sporting events, weddings, funerals, and even Baptisms in schools are now allowed to take place as the country reopens.

Ireland has been cautiously reopening over concerns about the more infectious COVID-19 Delta variant, according to Reuters.

Archbishop of Dublin Dermott Ferrell said the government was discriminating against devout Catholics. Bishops outside Dublin have been postponing parishioners’ pleas since last year and say they cannot justify further delays, given that thousands are being permitted to go to events in Croke Park, Ireland’s biggest stadium.

Bishop of Killaloe Fintan Monahan has been telling priests in parishes to "fire ahead but to do so very carefully. We’re asking families to keep parties to a minimum."

The Irish government has refrained from threatening priests or parishes with legal action, urging them to be patient, Politico reported. "While it is frustrating to see these delays, no one’s going to get hurt by waiting a little bit longer to have that special day," said Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue. He said it was not yet right to permit normal First Communion ceremonies in Ireland, considering the pandemic. The vaccination program is soon going to be expanded to children ages 12 to 15.

The move on the part of Bishops to flout health authorities was "extraordinary," noted Tony Flannery, co-founder of a grass-roots group called the Association of Catholic Priests. "It gives an opening to more extreme groups like the anti-vaxxers."

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GlobalTalk
There is a clash simmering between church and state in Ireland. The Irish government has banned First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies in the wake of COVID-19, as they fear the parties...
ireland, priests, covid, communion, discrimination
292
2021-02-04
Wednesday, 04 August 2021 01:02 PM
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