Statement on the Good Friday exemption issued on behalf of Fr. Tony Mullins, Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of Limerick
The civil authorities have made their decision, in good faith, in accordance with the facts laid before them in the context of civil law and society; I respect this decision. However, this is also an opportunity for Christians to make their own decision, in the context of civil law and society and the faith community to which they belong, in accordance with their conscience.
Good Friday is a day when Christians of all denominations throughout the world take time to reflect on the passion and death of Christ. On Good Friday, Catholics are asked to share in that sacrifice through the traditional practices of prayer, the veneration of the Cross and though fast and abstinence. Many people in Limerick and Ireland still join in these religious practices and enter into the spirit of Good Friday.
The granting of the exemption to the Vintners of Limerick City is a further reflection of a changing society, where religious beliefs and the practice of one’s faith, is becoming more a matter for the individual. For the many people whose faith is important to them the challenge in this new emerging Ireland is for Catholics to give even stronger witness to their faith and belief.
In keeping with custom many of the churches in Limerick City and environs will celebrate the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday afternoon at the traditional time of three o’clock. Many churches will also celebrate the Stations of the Cross on that day.
I welcome all who will visit Limerick City on Good Friday to attend the game and I invite them to join with our local communities for the Good Friday liturgies. Details of the times of Good Friday liturgies in local churches will be available on the Diocesan website www.limerickdiocese.org and parishioners can check with their local churches regarding the times of these services.