Church Leaders in Ireland Call on Congregants to Show ‘Love for Our Neighbors’ by Wearing Face Masks

A huge cross is seen overlooking the Eastern Irish coastline of Counties Wicklow and Dublin in Bray, Ireland, August 16, 2018. Picture taken August 19, 2018. Picture taken August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

An ecumenical coalition of churches in Ireland called on those attending in-person worship to wear face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Leaders representing the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and the Methodist Church in Ireland issued the statement on Wednesday. The church leaders noted that while neither the Republic of Ireland nor Northern Ireland have mandated face masks, they said it is “our responsibility to ensure that our services of worship are safe places for all who join with us.”

“It has become increasingly clear that the wearing of face coverings, in conjunction with hand washing etc., is likely to reduce the spread of coronavirus, thus helping to protect others,” they stated.

“Their use is therefore one way in which we can evidence protection for the most vulnerable, support for our health workers, and practical love for our neighbours.”

The church leaders went on to say that they “join with Christian church leaders all over this island in formally recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship, along with the ongoing maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing.”

This comes while recognizing that “some people are exempted from the wearing of face coverings” and that “it may not be appropriate for those who are leading from the front during worship, including preaching, to wear face coverings.”

They advised that worship leaders maintain a distance of four meters from the closest row of the congregation.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski

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