Be more vigilant on social distancing, Archbishop asks parishes

Observance of social distancing restrictions had become lax in Catholic parishes and must be tightened up due the growing number of Covid-19 cases in greater Dublin, Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.

In a statement issued to all 197 of Dublin’s Catholic parishes on Tuesday evening, he said indications were “that social distancing in some cases has become loose, especially before and after liturgical ceremonies. I know that the public health authorities have contacted several bishops concerned about breaches of social distancing,” he said.

“I have seen some examples in our Dublin churches and indeed some parishes have published photos on parish websites that indicate poor practice. I would ask all parishes to examine carefully how they can foster staggered exiting from churches and prevent gatherings at church entrances,” he said.

“In addition, I would remind parishes that the norms which permit gatherings of up to 50 people or ‘pods’ of 50 people in church buildings applies to religious services alone. For any other gatherings such as meetings or concerts, the limit is six people.”