Almost half the clergy in an Irish Catholic diocese are ‘cocooning’ for their own safety as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The country is on lockdown as we battle to get the situation under control, people are not allowed to leave their homes unless it for essential reasons such as buying food or medicine.
It is believed that while most people who contract the virus will experience a minor illness, it can be deadly to the more vulnerable members of society.
This includes people with underlying health conditions and people over 70 years of age.
The Diocese of Killaloe, which covers four counties in the west of Ireland, has been hit hard by this rule as 34 of the 70 clerics are aged 70 or over.
This means that almost half of the clergy in west Clare, Co Offaly and parts of Co Tipperary and Co Limerick are ‘cocooning’ as a result of the lockdown.
Fr Brendan Quinliva, who is a spokesman for the diocese said that some of the priests are retired and in nursing homes.
The Bishop of Kallaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, is one of the clergymen who is cocooning.
He said: “For some priests over 70 who were still working, I would expect it is traumatic when you would find yourself almost not needed anymore.
“The world hasn’t stopped because we don’t have public masses and it is a reminder to us and a humbling experience for us.
“That we don’t seem to be needed and the world is churning on without us being very busy.”
The news comes after the Bishop of the Diocese of Elphin, Co Sligo hit out at parishioners for being ‘selfish’ for putting pressure on priests to perform private mass while people are supposed to be isolating.
Many priests are broadcasting their masses on social media. One priest gave everyone a much needed laugh when he accidentally turned on the social media filters during his broadcast.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling