Church leaders in Ireland welcome return of public worship, as NI begins two-week ban

Dublin’s two Archbishops have welcomed the lifting of Government pandemic restrictions that will see public worship resume in the Republic from tomorrow, with the same restriction as under level 2.

However, in Armagh, Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin noted that in Northern Ireland, public worship has once more been suspended for two weeks even while, “south of the border, congregations can return to Mass and the Sacraments.” Public worship in the South ended again on October 7, but in certain counties such as Dublin and Donegal the previous month.

Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said the reopening of churches for public worship on Tuesday, “while modest in comparison with what we have been accustomed to doing, will gladden the hearts of members of my own diocese particularly at this time of year.”

Gathering, he said, was “important in how people of faith function. This relates both to our self–understanding and to the positive contributions we make to civil society.”

The Irish Church Together group, which represents the more evangelical Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal and New churches in Ireland, thanked Taoiseach Micheál Martin for the return to public worship. “Thank you for your detailed consideration of the case we made for public worship to be allowed at Level 3.”