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DUBLIN, Ireland, October 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of new laws which Catholics in Ireland are comparing to penal times and the persecution of the Catholic Church, an ever growing number of priests and lay people are demanding the return of Mass and the sacraments.

On October 6 Ireland moved into a “Level 3 lockdown” meaning that all religious services must “move online.” However since then, the country has been ordered into the highest level of restrictions, and a new law introduced, expressly forbidding gatherings for “religious or other reasons” and threatening priests with heavy fines and even jail, should they attempt to offer public Mass. 

The law is in direct violation of Article 44 of the Irish Constitution, which states: “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion. Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen.”

Fr. Sean Mulligan of the Clogher Diocese protested the law in a powerful sermon, (which has subsequently been viewed more than 1,700 times on YouTube), in which he decried the new law as “a new type of tyranny and persecution” and stated that “it’s our own government who are orchestrating this attack on our faith and our right to practice it in public.”

Another priest in rural Ireland, who wished to remain anonymous, told LifeSiteNews of the effect which the law is having on the faithful: “It’s like going back to the penal days. I’ve been speaking with the faithful who feel very upset and distressed that they have been deprived of the sacraments. And it’s sad to think that you can buy unnecessary goods in the supermarket, yet we have been deprived of sacramental grace, which is so essential.”

He also pointed out the mistake which was made in closing down the churches in March: “By doing so, the Church in Ireland has deemed the practice of our faith non-essential…It’s been a disaster…The Church in Ireland is a devastated vineyard.”

The soon to be retired bishop of Ferns, Bishop Brennan, spoke out saying that the government’s decision was “very hard to understand, churches are very safe places.”

The bishop also issued a pastoral letter in which he called for “the need to revisit and amend the continued existence of church closures for public worship.”

However, it is not just members of the clergy who have been protesting the law, as prominent lay Catholics have also spoken out in defence of the Mass.

Rory O’Hanlon, of the Irish Society for Christian Civilization, made reference to the Church’s duty “to provide the Sacraments to the faithful, and under divine and natural law the Catholic hierarchy has the right to carry out this duty, whether the government likes it or not.” 

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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

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Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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He told LifeSiteNews that the government was violating its constitutional duty to “respect and honour religion.” O’Hanlon said that by closing churches whilst leaving “elite sports” and schools open, the government was “uniting itself to a small club of anti-Catholic tyrannical regimes around the world.” 

Anthony Murphy, Director of Lumen Fidei Institute and editor of Catholic Voice magazine, said in a statement to LifeSiteNews that the bishops must exercise their authority and open the churches. 

“The bishops have handed over the sacraments for the government to control and regulate and God has been side-lined,” Murphy said. 

“God is being openly mocked in Ireland and the bishops do not seem to care, they stand silent while the sheep go hungry.”

Murphy continued by noting the low level of infection for COVID-19 in Ireland, and how churches had been meticulously been cleaned to prevent the virus spreading. He urged that regardless of the current laws, bishops must “open Ireland’s Catholic churches and should call the faithful to come to Holy Mass so that they can feed the flocks entrusted to their care by Jesus Christ.”

Deputy Matthew McGrath, a pro-life, independent member of the Irish parliament and the only member to oppose same-sex “marriage” in the 2015 referendum, decried the new laws as being something which “wouldn’t happen under Hitler.”

The four Archbishops of Ireland had a meeting with the Taoiseach yesterday evening, in which they “emphasised that they are fully supportive of the Public Health messages but highlighted that the coming together in prayer and worship, especially for Mass and the Sacraments, is fundamental to Christian tradition and a source of nourishment for the life and well-being of whole communities.”

The Taoiseach is reported to have thanked them, but no concessions have been made regarding the opening of churches. 

Both parties agreed the “need for a shared understanding of the effects of the pandemic as it evolves and to align our response accordingly.”

In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats reminded politicians around the world that “the state has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the church.”

“This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends. For this reason, as pastors we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments,” the signatories stated.

We Need Worship Campaign 

In order to co-ordinate efforts and galvanise people into action for the return of Mass, a lay group called We Need Worship (WNW) has formed, prayerfully but firmly petitioning that the government respect the constitutional right to worship and have Mass. 

The group’s Facebook page states that “Our constitutional right to worship Jesus Christ is being violated.” WNW warns that unless action is taken swiftly, then Ireland risks still being prohibited from celebrating Mass even on Christmas Day: “Already, the Irish government have prohibited us, the lay faithful, from the proper worship that we owe (and long to give) Jesus Christ our Saviour, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

WNW have also noted that the ban on worship which the Irish Catholic bishops imposed in March, paved the way for the constitutional breach: “This blithe disregard for Bunreacht na hEireann is not surprising in late October, when such disregard has been apparent since March – when the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference unanimously steamrolled over these constitutional rights – and the Irish government did nothing to stop them.”

WNW has drawn up letter templates to be sent to the TD’s, (Members of the Irish Parliament), Irish Catholic bishops and priests, demanding that the government cease the violation of the constitution.

All three letters note that the new law is a violation of religious and constitutional rights and calls for the law to be over-ruled in light of this.

The letter to the TD’s warns that the new law places the “government in conflict with the Constitution” and is “intellectually ignorant of the Catholic faith at best and intentionally insulting at worst.” 

Government ministers are accused of seeking to “provoke a confrontation between the State and the lay faithful – who are the Church” and reminded that they “have to protect our right to worship in this way.” 

In writing to the Catholic Bishops, WNW appeals to them as shepherds of the faithful, noting their duty to care for souls as outlined in Canon Law, and pointing out that bishops do not need to ask the government for permission to say Mass. 

The letter urges bishops to have zealous care for the faithful, promising to pray for them, but asking that in return the bishops will act with “fortitude, perseverance and holy boldness” in defence of the Mass and for the protection of the souls of the faithful: “Holy Mass is central to our lives. It is ESSENTIAL!”

WNW also writes to encourage priests, reassuring them of prayers and warning that those who “want to destroy religion, they begin by attacking the priest.” In the face of this warning, the letter earnestly recommends priests to have recourse to “our Blessed Mother, St. John Vianney, St. Patrick and all the Irish Saints.”

Contact information for the Catholic Bishops of Ireland can be found here, to respectfully ask for the churches to be opened, and Mass to be celebrated: https://www.catholicbishops.ie/bishops/

Those in Ireland are urged to contact their TD’s in order to change the current restrictions imposed upon the Church. Contact information can be found here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/

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