Fined priest claims those following restrictions are ‘rejecting’ God

Fined Priest Claims Those Following Restrictions Are ‘Rejecting’ God
The Co Cavan priest was fined for celebrating mass inside a church with people present.
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A Co Cavan priest has claimed people are making a grave mistake by following current Covid-19 restrictions and staying away from the church.

Those doing so are “rejecting” god, according to Fr PJ Hughes in Mullahoran.


The Irish Examiner reports that Fr Hughes has been fined for celebrating mass inside a church with people present.

The fixed penalty notice, understood to amount to €500, was issued to the priest after he was reported to gardaí.

Writing in this weekend's parish bulletin, Fr Hughes said he had been “reported again” and said he would “exercise [his] constitutional right even though people are complaining.”

“Life has become burdened by restrictions, health officials telling us to wear masks and not to go to the church in case we catch the virus,” Fr Hughes wrote.


'Negative message'

The priest said he does not accept the “negative message” from the Government and health officials, which he claimed is telling people to stray away from Jesus.

“If Christians were as determined to spread the message that Christ is our Saviour as they are to challenge others for not obeying restrictions laid down by this government then we would be on the right track,” he said.

“May we recognise God's mercy and be drawn to him rather than be obsessed by regulations and restrictions.”

Under Level 5 restrictions, places of worship remain closed aside from private prayer.

On Sunday, the State reported its highest number of new Covid-19 cases in three weeks, as 769 cases were confirmed.

Chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, said there has been a slight increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus over the weekend.

“We know the transmission levels, particularly of this B117 variant, are still very strong and the positivity rate is still very high,” he added.

“It is important that everyone protects themselves and hold their guard.”

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