“I find it difficult to explain, or justify, that it is only parents of children receiving the sacraments who cannot be trusted to observe these guidelines.”
Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has renewed advice for parishes to postpone Communions and Confirmations until September.
The Archbishop wrote to priests in his archdiocese to advise them to proceed with first holy communions and confirmations last week in spite of current public health advice issued by the government, which states these ceremonies should not go ahead.
He was the first Archbishop in Ireland to give such advice although several Bishops did give similar advice to parishes last week.
However, he has now said that in light of a Government statement on Friday which noted that restrictions may be eased soon he has “renewed” advice to postpone the sacraments.
“I have renewed my advice to parishes to postpone the celebration of the sacraments until September,” he said.
“Government guidelines advise that religious ceremonies such as communions and confirmations “should not take place at this time”.
However, the Government said on Friday it “hopes to see those restrictions lifted in September”, subject to public health.
Speaking at Vigil Mass at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin on Saturday the Archbishop said it has been “a source of deep frustration to many families” that for so many months communions and confirmations have been postponed.
“They have been perplexed, as am I, that of all of the types of events which might give rise to mingling between households, it is uniquely these sacraments which are prohibited under public guidelines,” he said.
“In all other aspects of life, whether family celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries, or fans gathering to watch sporting events, or indeed after weddings and funerals, people are trusted and expected to observe the guidelines on household mixing.
“Households are permitted to mix, in homes and in restaurants, in ways that take account of the age and vaccination status of those present. I find it difficult to explain, or justify, that it is only parents of children receiving the sacraments who cannot be trusted to observe these guidelines.”