Irish Catholics say rosary at churches in defiance of government

Catholics in various parts of Ireland are gathering on a weekly basis to pray outside the doors of local churches as the ban on public worship persists.

Catholic Arena reports that a high-profile Kazakh bishop, Athanasius Schneider, has written to the groups in support of their efforts, telling them “I support your noble campaign to get people to pray the Rosary outside their churches in the hope of a return to the Mass.”

Last week news emerged that the hearing of Confessions by priests was also banned, according to legal experts at Trinity College Dublin, whilst this Sunday saw a public Mass in Athlone broken up by Gardaí.

Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin has said he expects Masses might be opened to the public in early May, but expressed his frustration with the matter becoming a prosecutable crime in the meantime.

Martin said the measure to ban public Masses was “draconian” and that public worship should be re-opened when Level 5 restrictions are eased.

“This comes as great news for us because we were deeply concerned about the direction that things were going in the Republic of Ireland,” he told EWTN.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin however said worshippers may have to wait until later in May and that a firmer decision will be made at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

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