The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, has welcomed today’s announcement by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that churches can reopen for public worship from June 29.
He stated this afternoon: “Today’s decision gives us the opportunity to take up the threads of faithful living in very particular ways of worship in our communities once again.
“I want to thank all who have sustained worship and pastoral care during the long weeks and months when being in church was not safe. I want also to thank all of the people on the ground in the Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough who have made it possible for those right across the community to be treated with care and dignity in a time of great fear.
“The return to gathered worship comes with a caution. We are duty bound to put safety at the top of our agenda and much preparation is already going on to make churches as safe as we can in the time of the pandemic. We ought not to take too much for granted too soon. I appeal also for personal responsibility and for the good sense to stay at home if individuals feel vulnerable or feel they have symptoms that need to be tested.
“I welcome the opportunity now afforded to us under the accelerated roadmap to reopening Ireland to return to public worship in church. We embrace this opportunity joyously and hopefully.”
An Taoiseach’s announcement comes as the House of Bishops and the Representative Church Body issued the Return to In–Church Worship Protocols to clergy in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland today. The United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough is also engaged in a consultation process with clergy to develop guidelines which can be implemented locally.