Many of the faithful are waiting for some pastoral guidance from “those who are set above us, in the Lord.” In what was probably the first of his surviving letters, St Paul urges us to “respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thess 4:12-13). We look to our bishops for inspirational leadership, for which we can indeed “esteem them in love because of their work”
Is it really possible that they cannot meet through a CONFERENCE phone-call, or better still, by VIDEO CONFERENCE, whether with WhatsApp, ZOOM or gotomeeting.com, and decide on a shared guidance on how to prayerfully celebrate the imminent Holy Week. Their lack of collective, collegial leadership on this subject seems like a dereliction of episcopal solidarity. What has happened to the idea and relevance of national episcopal conferences?
Even at this late stage, a unanimous message from the Irish Episcopal Conference would be a great help to laity and clergy alike. It would also be picked up by the media and could provide a spiritual uplift for many.