Archbishop of Dublin gives go-ahead to Communions and Confirmations despite public health advice
He called the current guidelines on Communions and Confirmations "discriminatory".
The Archbishop of Dublin has written to priests in his archdiocese to advise them to proceed with first holy communions and confirmations.
This goes against the current public health advice issued by the government, which states these ceremonies should not go ahead.
He is the first Archbishop in Ireland to give such advice although several Bishops did give similar advice to parishes last week.
Archbishop Dermot Farrell called the current guidelines on Communions and Confirmations "discriminatory" and said such restrictions are not being placed on other celebrations such as "sporting or civic events".
In a letter sent to priests on Tuesday, Archbishop Dermot Farrell said: “It is a matter of profound regret that there has been no engagement with Church representatives regarding revision of public health guidelines” since bishops first expressed reservations.
“Understandably, many have been concerned and disappointed that current guidelines restrict celebration of the sacraments on the apparent grounds that they may lead to family gatherings, which may breach public health guidelines on households mixing.
“This is perplexing, as no such prohibitions are applied to other events, such as sporting or civic events, or other family occasions, such as the celebration of birthdays and anniversaries, or indeed to weddings or funerals.
“Many have concluded that, in the absence of appropriate justification, these guidelines are discriminatory.”
Farrell said that he believes that public health guidance from 30 April, which said that some services could return in Autumn "still remains appropriate".
But he did say where parishes want to hold communions and confirmations it is important that public health advice and protocols are followed, "not least with regard to gatherings in the church grounds both before and after ceremonies".