The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin has described the Government’s Covid Restriction imposing a limit of 50 people attending churches as ‘strange and disappointing.’
Religious buildings and places of worship are allowed to reopen on June 29th under plans announced by the Irish Government on Friday. But the guidelines also limit indoor gatherings to 50 people.
Dr Martin said parishes had placed huge energy into preparing to be ready for reopening on June 29th. “It is obviously disappointing that with the reopening for public worship there is a blanket restriction to the participation of a maximum of 50 in these first weeks.
“ I have already expressed my view that in this initial period we should be patient and to allow the new situation to settle down.”
“However, it seems strange that in a church with a capacity of 1,500 people which has been scrupulously fitted out for conformity with social distancing and with clear indications about movement and interaction of people within church, that only 50 people might be present, while we all see a situation in which large retail outlets brimming with people.
Dr Martin said he hoped it would be possible to come to “ a more reasonable and responsible situation in which numbers permitted to attend Mass could be proportionate to the size of each church”.