2 April 2020 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

Public funerals have now been banned in the Catholic diocese of Clogher as part of efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus. Bishop Larry Duffy said on Saturday the move was necessary to protect the public and because many priests are elderly and considered vulnerable. The previous week, Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor (a native of Co. Monaghan) ended funeral Masses in his diocese of Down and Connor, which includes Belfast and is the second largest diocese after Dublin.

The diocese of Clogher has a Catholic population of 88,000 worshipping in 85 churches in 37 parishes across five counties, and is served by 58 priests and one deacon. Several other priests are retired and normally assist in parishes. The diocese includes all of Co. Monaghan, a small part of Co. Donegal around Bundoran, a small part of Co. Louth near Dundalk and across the border, virtually all of Co. Fermanagh and part of Co. Tyrone.

As well as funerals, the diocese has also ended Baptisms, Marriages and individual Confessions for the moment, as well as Sunday Mass which is now being broadcast by webcam or on Facebook by various parishes. The move means that for the foreseeable future, there will be no public funeral Masses. Instead, the deceased will be taken straight to the place of burial.

Bishop Larry Duffy in an interview with RTÉ News in Sunday said he felt he had no choice but to introduce…

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