Hopes high of return to Mass in early December after meeting with Taoiseach

Hopes high of return to Mass in early December after meeting with Taoiseach Tánaiste Micheál Martin

A group representing Christian ministers across the country say it is hopeful of a return to public worship in early December.
Irish Church Together was amongst a wide group of faith representatives who met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday (Tuesday) to press for a return to communal celebrations when restrictions go to level three.
Paddy Monaghan, spokesperson for Irish Church Together, said following the meeting that they are hopeful public worship will resume as “there is no case” against doing so in early December.
“The Taoiseach has promised to consult and to speak to NPHET [the National Public Health Emergency Team] on this, so I’m hopeful, I’m very hopeful,” Mr Monaghan told The Irish Catholic.
“There really isn’t any justification other than that it’s a low priority. I doubt there’s a case for not resuming public worship at Level three,” he said.
Also present at the online meeting were Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and his Church of Ireland counterpart Michael Jackson.
Mr Monaghan said he asked the Taoiseach to explain why NPHET take the view that church closure should be part of level three restrictions, unlike the health authorities of the other 27 EU countries.
“He responded, not particularly well I think,” Mr Monaghan said. “He said the reason was because early on there were outbreaks in some churches of Europe, that influenced their thinking on Level three here.
Though hopeful, Mr Monaghan is echoing the call of Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin for parishioners to keep up the lobbying of Oireachtas members for a return to public worship.
ICT represents the evangelical stream within the main Christian traditions in Ireland, comprising 260 priests, ministers and pastors in the Republic.