La Croix International staff
Because of huge snowfalls in parts of Ireland, Dublin Archdiocese took the extreme step of closing its churches for Sunday worship, saying that nobody in its jurisdiction was required to attend Sunday Mass because of the snow. The Archdiocese, however, urged parishioners to 'listen to the Mass online.’
Dublin Archdiocese said nobody was obliged to attend Sunday Mass if the ice and snow made the roads perilous, posing a threat to parishioners’ safety.
The Irish Times reported warnings for snow, ice, heavy rain and localised flooding in Northern Ireland, and extended those warnings to last Monday to include Dublin. Many churches stayed closed for the whole weekend.
The Archdiocese of Dublin said nobody in its jurisdiction was required to attend Sunday Mass but urged parishioners to practise their faith by tuning in online.
'When people are unable to attend Mass, it is recommended that they view or listen to the Mass online, on television or radio or that they spend a time in prayer as individuals or as a family,' it said in a statement.
Seán Hogan, chairman of the national emergency co-ordination group on severe weather, said it was a good opportunity to capitalise on how modern technology is building new digital bridges. 'Many parishes stream religious services, and if you might assist neighbours to access those religious services it would help people [in] not having to go out of their homes,' he was reported as saying.
Irish Defence Forces said on Sunday that they had put 1200 staff and 350 vehicles 'in a range of tasks to support the civil authorities during this extreme weather event.'
As of Saturday night, 3 March, over 20,000 homes and businesses still had no power and 10,000 had no water.
Picture of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral by Rick Munish