The Bishop of Clogher Larry Duffy has suspended all public Masses in the Diocese of Clogher amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Bishop Duffy said: "Having consulted with priests and lay people across the diocese, and mindful of public health and our capability or otherwise to maintain a congregation below 100, I am suspending all public Masses in the Diocese of Clogher with immediate effect."
The Bishop clarified that the Diocese of Clogher will follow health regulations in line with the Republic of Ireland for parishes on either side of the Border: "These regulations are motivated by a sense of care for the common good and, especially, for the most vulnerable. It is important that we minimize the movement of people (including clergy) and protect them from the virus and its effects."
"At the same time, we must reach out as generously as we can to provide the best level possible of pastoral care," Bishop Duffy added.
The current guidelines from the Bishop of Clogher state:
- All are dispensed from the obligation to physically attend Sunday Mass and Mass on Holy Days of Obligation until further notice.
- All are encouraged to participate in Sunday Mass and Mass on weekdays via radio, television or webcams that are in operation in many of our churches. A list of these, together with times of Masses and links to them will be available soon on the Diocesan Website –
Other forms of audio-visual social media may also be used to enable people participate in the Mass.
- Masses for weddings and funerals may continue, provided that the Government regulations are adhered to.
- All Mass intentions for a given day or days can be incorporated into a Mass that is celebrated live on webcam or radio, or via any other audio-visual form of social media.
- Priests are encouraged to celebrate Mass privately and to remember the needs of all their parishioners at this time, especially all those who are vulnerable and who may be infected by the Coronavirus.
- All Confirmations are postponed until further notice. Be assured, however, that new arrangements will be made as soon as it is safe to do so.
- First Confessions and First Holy Communions should also be suspended until further notice.
- All non-essential pastoral gatherings and meetings are cancelled.
- During our journey through Lent, the celebration of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum is foremost in our minds and hearts. How this will be celebrated will be kept under review over the coming weeks.