ACP tensions run high over Easter Mass stance

ACP tensions run high over Easter Mass stance Fr Padraig McCarthy

The ACP has come under fire from within after issuing a statement expressing concern about calls for a return to Mass for Easter.

The statement read, “The ACP is concerned about calls for an Easter return to community worship,” which raised questions from one of the priests in the comments.

Fr Padraig McCarthy agreed with the commendation of archbishops for seeking to “engage political leadership about public worship,” but took issue with the ACP’s concern over an Easter return to worship.

“Rather, the ACP leadership team is concerned, but there is no procedure for consultation of all ACP members. It might imply that there was simply a call by the archbishops for return to community worship, without qualification. This is not the case,” Fr McCarthy wrote in response.

“ACP members may have a variety of views on this. I have misgivings about this statement, since it seems to imply that there are no circumstances in which re-opening churches for Easter ceremonies would not be premature and potentially detrimental,” he said.

Fr McCarthy said he wrote this as a 77-year-old priest “who has had non-Covid health concerns for most of the past year”.

The topic of reopening the churches for public worship is an issue which needs to be examined “in the light of changing circumstances,” and that it would be unwise to rule out the possibility of a reopening, he wrote.