Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland
UPDATE: At the beginning of Holy Week, the Irish government has confirmed that it is an offence punishable by law for a priest to celebrate public Mass.
One brave priest has already incurred a EUR 500 fine in defiance of the ban and on Palm Sunday, the Irish Gardai set up three checkpoints on the rural roads near his church in order to stop people from attending.
This is an attack on basic freedom and one that is not based on any scientific evidence. The measures implemented by Catholic churches have made them the most covid secure places of all!
Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar and Christians must be free to celebrate it.
Sign to demand that the Irish government lifts this undemocratic, unscientific and sectarian ban on worship.
Public worship has once again been banned in the Republic of Ireland after the government passed new coronavirus restrictions into law.
This is despite the fact that to date, the Republic has not experienced a single known case of COVID-19 which has been transmitted via attendance at a church service.
While the public celebration of Mass does not constitute a criminal offence, any priest or pastor who leaves their house in order to celebrate Mass or lead a church service, even if only online, could be arrested and face prison.
Ireland is the only country in Europe to impose such draconian restrictions on public worship for such an extended period of time. Many European countries have experienced much higher transmission rates of the virus than Ireland and yet have still been able to attend religious ceremonies, in small numbers, with sensible precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and hand sanitation.
Freedom of worship is, in any event, a fundamental human right, protected not only by the Irish Constitution but also by EU law.
Faith is still an essential part of every day for many in the Irish republic - an estimated 100,000 who used to attend Mass every single day prior to the pandemic have been deprived of a vital source of spiritual and psychological problems. Other faith communities are being similarly affected and experiencing a sense of loss.
Neither Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) not the Government have indicated that they believe places of worship to be a problem in terms of transmission of the virus and neither have they produced any epidemiological evidence to support the banning of worship.
The Irish government is sending a clear message that they believe religion to be of secondary importance, even though there is overwhelming evidence that suggests that those who attend religious services live happier, healthier and longer lives.
It is vital that during these difficult times, the general public is not deprived of vital spiritual comfort. Places of worship must be trusted to take the appropriate measures to keep their communities safe, as is the case in other countries.
In the absence of any evidence to suggest that infections are linked to religious services, and in country where the overall death rates are linked to easily identifiable sub-groups, the restriction on public worship is disproportionate and unfair.
Sign the petition asking the Taoiseach Michael Martin, to respect the religious freedoms and sensibilities of the Irish people and lift the ban on public worship.
The Irish Catholic: https://www.irishcatholic.com/government-appears-unwilling-to-lift-ban-on-public-masses/
Irish Independent: https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/theres-no-evidence-to-show-a-ban-on-public-worship-does-anything-but-harm-39675654.html
Sign this petition now!
Lift Ireland's ban on public worship