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Bishop of Killaloe advises against communions and confirmations

BISHOP of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan, has asked parish priests and pastoral councils not to set dates for communions and confirmations in the Diocese “for the near future”. It follows confirmation, received by the organisation representing Catholic bishops, that the government’s forthcoming guidance documents will expressly advise against these ceremonies.
Writing to parents, priests and schools on Wednesday, Bishop Monahan said that “in view of the letter received from the HSE last week, the strong recommendation of NPHET… and the clear advice from the Taoiseach’s Office, I believe it would be very unwise to celebrate the sacraments in the coming weeks”.
The Bishop acknowledged that cancelling these important occasions will be “very inconvenient at such short notice” and he asked for “patience and understanding”, in the interests of public health and safety.
The Bishop’s letter also said that: “Because of the vulnerability of the virus situation and the evolving nature of the whole process it would, in my view be best not to set dates yet for the near future until further progress is made in relation to the vaccination roll out and public health guidelines advise it to do so.”
There was dismay on Tuesday when the Tanáiste appeared to suggest that confirmations and communions would have to be cancelled due to the guidance from NPHET on the Delta variant. During a press conference held after the Taoiseach’s announcement on the postponement of indoor dining, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said religious ceremonies would also be delayed
It is understood that clarity was sought by Irish Episcopal Conference, the assembly of Catholic bishops, in relation to these ceremonies. The Clare Champion understands that clarification given to the Episcopal Conference also advises against the holding of baptism ceremonies and that advice will be provided on the safe resumption of these sacraments.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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