A bishop has accused his parishioners of being selfish in trying to pressurise priests into saying private masses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bishop Kevin Doran issued a statement to the those in the Diocese of Elphin Co Sligo asking them to adhere to the government guidelines.
Bishop Kevin Doran said: “The Diocese of Elphin has committed fully to observing the restrictions imposed by the present pandemic.
“I know most parishioners respect and support this. Unfortunately, a very small minority are putting pressure on some of our priests to celebrate private Masses for them.
“This is selfish and it contradicts the very meaning of communion. The restrictions are for YOUR safety. Mass is being celebrated for you every day in all the Churches of the Diocese.”
With the global lockdown caused by the coronavirus, church gatherings are not permitted with the exception of funerals.
This has caused many weddings, christenings and other ceremonies to be postponed or cancelled.
Many priests are broadcasting masses to their parishes via webcam and other social networking tools.
However, there seems to be a minority of people that still wish to attend a traditional mass in the church and are putting pressure on their priests to continue that service.
Bishop Doran took decisive action to inform those that the Church would not be breaking the rules imposed by the government.
He said in a statement: “Mass continues to be celebrated on a daily basis in your parish but without a congregation.
“I am heartened by the numbers of people tuning in online and via parish radio to pray with their priest and I am equally heartened by the innovative ways with which our priests are reaching out online to ensure you can join them in praying the Mass.”
Most local parishes will have details of their live broadcasts of mass on their website. RTE and several other broadcasters worldwide are also showing daily masses on their channels.