Ireland: Church leaders and Prime Minister discuss Covid impact – Vatican News

By Vatican News

In discussions with the Irish Prime Minister or Taoiseach, Michael Martin on Wednesday evening, Archbishops Eamon Martin, Diarmuid Martin, Michael Neary, Kieran O’Reilly SMA and Bishop Dermot Farrell emphasized their support for the current health measures in place.

Importance of prayer and worship

However, they highlighted that “the coming together in prayer and worship, especially for Mass and the Sacraments, is fundamental to Christian tradition and a source of nourishment for the life and well-being of whole communities.” They also stressed the importance of gathering for worship “as a source of consolation and hope at Christmas time.”

The Church and safety measures

In a statement issued following the meeting, the Archbishops underlined “the mammoth effort that has been made by priests and volunteers at parish level to ensure that gatherings in Church are as safe as possible and the consistent messaging from the Church about the protection of health and life for all in the community, particularly the vulnerable.”

Ireland is currently in lockdown, and pastoral work continues at parish level even as the celebration of Mass is moved on-line.

The statement noted that during the meeting, “The challenges of those suffering bereavement at this time were acknowledged, particularly as we enter the traditional time of remembrance in the month of November.”

The Archbishops also emphasized the need to protect the most vulnerable in society at this time, and  “the positive value” of keeping schools open.

Solidarity and engagement

The statement concluded by saying that all parties recognized “the need for a shared understanding of the effects of the pandemic as it evolves and to align our response accordingly. All agreed on the importance of ongoing constructive engagement and solidarity in facing and overcoming the challenges of Covid-19 together.”

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