Bishop Doran’s stance on Sacraments backed by Archbishop of Dublin’s letter

The Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, came under fire last week from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin when he advised parish priests to proceed with Communions and Confirmations in his Diocese in coming weeks.

Earlier this week, however, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, described the current ban as “discriminatory”.

In a letter to Dublin parishes, he also revealed that he and the country’s three other archbishops had written to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, indicating that the celebration of Sacraments may resume in mid-August.

The Archbishop asked priests to ensure that families are aware of public health guidelines and advised those intending to recommence Communions and Confirmations to hold “shorter and smaller ceremonies”.

In a recent letter to clergy members, Bishop Kevin Doran said that “no good reason” had been given for the advice to postpone the celebration of Sacraments, considering the focus on the careful reopening of all sectors of society.

In the letter, Bishop Doran proposed proceeding with the celebrations as previously scheduled.

The Taoiseach has since addressed Bishop Doran’s statement, saying that regulations had been brought in to protect people’s health and that Church leaders should be accepted in good faith.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Achonry, Paul Dempsey, has this week postponed the celebration of Sacraments such as First Holy Communion and Confirmation in the diocese following the recent controversy.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Bishop Dempsey said his Diocese, which includes Ballaghaderreen, would continue with the postponement of Sacraments.

Part of the statement read: “As the vaccination programme continues, we look forward to celebrating the Sacraments with our children and their families in a safe and meaningful way from mid-September onwards.

“In the meantime, may we continue to keep vigilant around the virus so that we can emerge out of this difficult time safe and well”.