Becky Kealy: Stopping Religious Services Would Be A Disgrace
Aontú Rep for Cork North West Becky Kealy has called on the government to refrain from preventing public Mass, in Cork, if the County goes to Level 3 – as a closure which would be to the detriment of the mental health and well-being of many elderly people.
Becky Kealy: “The elderly of our communities have been routinely forgotten about throughout the pandemic. The government has just told them to cocoon and shut themselves off from the world, or left them locked down in nursing homes for months on end without any contact with family or friends. Communities and local businesses have rallied to support our most vulnerable and ensure they have anything they need. However, our elderly ask for very little and one of the few things my constituents have been contacting me about is the issue of mass. For many going to mass is an invaluable opportunity to get out during the week, and visit their local church. The freedom to practice their faith in a socially distance environment has done wonders for their mental health and well-being. To close off mass in a lockdown would be a disgrace and to the detriment our many of our most vulnerable in society.”
“There has not been one cluster or outbreak linked to a mass service. Faith has actually helped to save the lives of many throughout this pandemic. One constituent I spoke to, recounted how their elderly grandmother had been close to death’s doorstep after several months of lockdown in her nursing home. The nursing home contacted the family and a priest to say their final goodbyes. However, after seeing her family and saying a few prayers with her parish priest, the woman is back on her feet once again. The restoration of human contact and faith helped strengthen her. Why would the government shut down mass when not one outbreak has been linked to mass, and when the benefits for the well-being of our most vulnerable come at no cost?”
“It is inexplicable how pubs can remain open in locked-down counties, but mass and churches are on the chopping block. How is it that the streets of Galway can be packed with no social distancing, but Sunday mass with 50 congregants well-spaced out cannot? It is not much to ask to allow socially distanced masses to go ahead – the benefits of which come at no cost to this government.”