Further update 23rd March – Coronavirus
FURTHER UPDATE REGARDING RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS
Up to now, the advice of the Irish health authorities allowed for gatherings in enclosed spaces of up to 100 people, providing that social distancing was practiced and that the vulnerable were discouraged from attending. This meant that holding Mass in public in specific circumstances was permissible. At the meeting of the VF’s on Friday last, a majority were in favour of continuing our current practice. The overall situation is however changing rapidly and there is growing concern about movement of people. In the light of the changing situation, I have decided that it will not be possible to continue with public Sunday or Weekday Masses in the Archdiocese of Dublin from Wednesday 25th March until further notice.
The arrangements for baptisms, funerals and weddings remain in place but with the requirement that the numbers present be strictly limited, that social distancing be scrupulously respected and that Church buildings be cleaned and surfaces disinfected regularly.
Churches can remain open for prayer. However, there must be a guarantee of social distancing on all occasions and Church buildings must be cleaned and surfaces disinfected regularly.
You will have received information this morning that Pope Francis has made an appeal for special prayers by the Church around the world. He asks that Catholics around the world should, either individually or in community, recite the Lord’s Prayer at 12.00 noon on Wednesday next, 25th March. In addition, the Pope invites Catholics of the entire world to unite themselves spiritually with him in a Prayer Service from Saint Pater’s Square on Friday next, 27 March, at 18.00. The prayer will conclude with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament imparted “Urbi et Orbi”. To all who unite themselves spiritually with the Holy Father a Plenary Indulgence will be granted.Further information concerning web-access to this ceremony will be made available as soon as it is received.
Archbishop Eamon Martin will lead a prayer of Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Wednesday 25th .
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin