January 15, 2021

Bishop of Waterford ‘cannot understand’ why churches are still closed

The Bishop of Waterford says people “cannot understand” why there should not  be a public celebration of Mass.

“Many people of faith are finding not being able to receive Holy Communion extremely burdensome,” said Bishop Phonsie Cullinan in a pastoral message to mark the Feast of Pentecost.

“Like many others I am very sad that we still cannot gather for Eucharist together. People feel frustrated and cannot understand why the public celebration of the sacraments is not allowed.

“Sacraments sustain and strengthen us, and many feel as if their vital importance has not been given due consideration.”

When a church in Dublin opened for Mass last week, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin moved to ensure the open-door policy would not continue.  He urged all churches in the archdiocese to adhere to Covid-19 restrictions .

Bishop Cullinan did not call for an opening of churches in Waterford for Mass, but he said: “Sacraments sustain and strengthen us, and many feel as if their vital importance has not been given due consideration. Care for the human person entails not only the physical but also the spiritual and psychological dimensions.

“I wish to commend all those who have been so patient in living without the Eucharist,” he said. “It is my hope that we will not have to wait too long for the Mass to be publicly celebrated.”

But the bishop conceded that “we must proceed with caution”.

“Each parish must be ready with volunteers who, working with their priest, ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to have our places of worship very safe so that people can be confident as they worship,” he said.

“This will be a great help when the time comes for public Masses to resume.”

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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