“What the guidelines fail to take into account is the fact that you could have a small chapel on the side of a mountain in rural Ireland that can barely hold 50 people, and you could have a cathedral in a city that can contain thousands” – Peadar Tóibín TD.
"The protection of life and the common good are guiding principles as we continue planning for safe and responsible return to Mass and sacraments," said Archbishop Eamon Martin.
A return to even small gatherings for worship will require close observance of social distancing and hygiene requirements, as laid down by the public health authorities.
“We want to commend our ministers and clergy for their prayerful and creative use of various online platforms and other means that have brought encouragement, through God’s word and through prayer, to His scattered people.”
The scheme is open to all faiths and denominations and comes in the wake of last year’s Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals.
'Listed Building Consent' is required in Britain for changes that might alter the architectural or historic significance of a building used for religious purposes.