Latest from Archbishop 14th March 2020

Post date: 14-Mar-2020 16:38:41


The restrictive measures introduced by the health care authorities are vital measures to limit spread of the coronavirus. We all have a moral responsibility and a civic duty to respect them in detail in order to protect us and others.

1. The health authority’s norms on limiting attendance at indoor gatherings to 100 people and the norms regarding social distancing are strictly binding on all. No individual or parish has the authority to deviate from or redefine these norms. If there is any doubt or risk about arrangements, Mass should be cancelled.

2. All are dispensed from the obligation of physical presence at Sunday Mass. It should be explained to vulnerable people why they are to be discouraged from attending Mass..

3. Parishes should make adequate arrangements to enable people to prayerfully participate at Sunday Mass by radio and on-line.

4. Social distancing: For any event, including funerals, the norms regarding social distancing (people should be at a distance from each other of at least one metre) are obligatory. This is a vital health care norm as the virus can be most easily contracted by person to person contact. It applies also to the presence of people in Churches for private prayer.

5. I am aware that this involves considerable inconvenience. It is inspiring to see just how meticulously Pope Francis practices and applies these norms.

6. Should the current norms not be scrupulously observed, norms that are more restrictive will be introduced.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin