On March 4th it was reported that the Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell issued an order that Bishops and Priests ’ought not to succumb to requests to distribute Holy Communion before or after Masses’.
This statement arose from an incident in a parish in west Dublin whereby the Guards called to Fr Binoy Matthew who had been distributing communion to his faithful after his online Masses and they ordered him to cease.
As the priest pointed out, he was doing this in a very safe manner with people entering and exiting through different doors, social distancing throughout and hand sanitising. This is what he has been doing throughout the pandemic with no issues until now.
He also pointed out that it was a very important part of his core parishioners’ week and it also gave him the opportunity to look out for them and see if they were coping with the challenges of daily life under the Level 5 restrictions.
It seems illogical, to say the least, that abortion clinics, discount stores and pet grooming services are open as ‘essential’ services while Catholics are refused access to public worship and reception of the sacraments. Ireland, along with Slovenia, are currently the only countries in Europe which have a ban on public worship.
One would have thought that our church leaders would be calling the government to account over the prevention of public worship and pointing out how illogical it is.
There is no such thing as zero risk; we take calculated acceptable risks in our daily lives whether that is driving a car or buying groceries in a busy shop. So why can we not publicly worship and receive the sacraments knowing the infinitesimal risks involved are far outweighed by the definite graces received by reception of the sacraments? To faithful Catholics this is truly essential.
Let us redouble our prayers and sacrifices during this Rosary crusade and ask that God may hasten the day when we can resume public worship. After all, the very constitution of the state recognises that this worship is due to Almighty God.