A Tipperary priest has decided to row back on plans to proceed with two Communion and Confirmation ceremonies this weekend.
Fr Michael Toomey from the Parishes of Newcastle and Ardfinnan outlined his confusion and frustration on Tipp Today earlier about the delayed resumption of such ceremonies.
A Government spokesperson has since confirmed this afternoon that Confirmations, Communions and Baptisms are suspended, following the Government’s renewed plans on reopening outlined yesterday.
In a statement this evening, Fr Toomey said that such ceremonies in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore would be postponed until Autumn “solely in the interests of public safety”.
UPDATED PERSONAL STATEMENT BY FR MICHAEL TOOMEY-
Wednesday 30th June 2021. 18:00
With sincere regret, and after today receiving proper clarity from Government, the Bishop along with my brother priests and I, have to postpone our First Holy Communions and Confirmations in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore until the Autumn, solely in the interests of public safety.
While I fully appreciate that the concern of the virus and the new delta variant is serious, and the authorities are concerned about gatherings afterwards, we have ensured we have shared the best public health advice, and advised against such large gatherings, and I will continue to do so with all my parishioners.
We in the church and indeed, all places of worship have done everything asked for, and more. Perhaps the Government will now take this opportunity in the coming weeks to engage with the Church before any future advice, so we can work together in celebrating the sacraments safely.
I sincerely thank our teachers, principals, schools, families, and of course our Confirmation Candidates, for their resilience, and I pray that we will continue to do all we can to keep each other safe, and for those who are ill or those who have sadly died because of this terrible virus.
Thank you to everyone for your support and prayers for me, my brother priests, and Bishops at this difficult time.
Keeping you all in my prayers.
Very Rev Fr Michael Toomey