Priest says he will not be following "off the cuff" advice on Communions and Confirmations 4 months ago

Priest says he will not be following "off the cuff" advice on Communions and Confirmations

"I will not be following the off the cuff statement by Leo Varadkar."

Fr Michael Toomey has said that he will not be following the "off the cuff" advice that Communions and Confirmations need to be postponed.

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The administrator of the parishes of Ardfinnan, Ballybacon and Grange, and Newcastle and regular celebrant of the RTÉ weekday Mass said he will still be going ahead with planned religious events until his "Bishop advises otherwise".

"I will not be following the "off the cuff” statement by Leo Varadkar, I am planning to celebrate the two Confirmations in my parish planned and will continue to celebrate the Baptism with families, if they wish me to do so and until such time as my Bishop advises otherwise," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan leads the diocese of Waterford and Lismore where the parishes are located.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Fr Toomey confirmed that he has two confirmations planned for next week which he plans to go ahead with.

He added that Communions have already been postponed to September, however, he is aware that a number of parishes have them planned for the coming weeks.

"While the statement by the Tanaiste was off the cuff, there is no directive on Gov.ie," he said.

"That's the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) - but is that law?"

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The priest said that he will employ contact tracing and social distancing measures on any ceremonies which take place, adding that baptisms were never instructed to stop by Government and have been relatively low risk.

"We are merely being brushed aside without any consultation and consideration for the sacraments and the lives of so many young people and families," he continued.