This afternoon, Wednesday, 30th June, following the updating today of the public health information on the Government website http://www.gov.ie to include formal reference to ‘other religious ceremonies’, namely Holy Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations’, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton has written to clergy in the Diocese as well as to all confirmands, their parents and guardians, to announce that Confirmations in the Diocese have been cancelled.
Following the expressed hope in the Government announcement of 2nd June that such ceremonies may proceed from 5th July (subject to the public health situation) plans had been put in place to do all the 2020 and 2021 Confirmations in Cork, Cloyne and Ross between 5th July and the end of September.
Today’s Government announcement in the light of the developments in the public health advice from NPHET at the start of this week makes clear that ceremonies ‘such as Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time.’ It goes on to state that ‘further advice will follow on the resumption of these ceremonies when it is safe to do so.’ This means that there is no timeline for the resumption of those sacraments or ceremonies for now.
The full announcement by the Government may be read HERE
The following cancellations affecting the following parishes and areas in Cork City and County are announced:
|11th July||Monkstown, Carrigaline, Crosshaven, Nohoval.|
|18th July||Skibbereen, Baltimore, Caheragh, Castletownshend, Aughadown, Ballydehob, Rosscarbery, Castleventry, Union Hall, Glandore, Leap.|
|24th July||Bandon, Innishannon, Ballinadee, Brinny, Rathclaren|
|25th July||Clonakilty, Courtmacsherry, Timoleague, Kilmalooda|
|12th September||Blackrock, Douglas, Frankfield, Passage West|
|19th September||Glanmire, Cobh, Little Island, Midleton, Aghada, Cloyne, East Ferry, Castlemartyr, Youghal, Ardmore|
|25th September||Cork City – St Fin Barre’s Cathedral|
Here is the full text of Bishop Colton’s letter to those who had hoped to be confirmed:
‘Dear Parents/Guardians and Confirmands,
In the last 24 hours I have been endeavouring to get a definitive clarification from representatives of our Government about yesterday’s public health announcements. The usual Covid-19 updates on the website http://www.gov.ie contained no reference to Holy Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations, but when departing from yesterday’s Press Conference An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar remarked that they were ‘off’. As you know the Government had previously announced on 2nd June that, as and from 5th July, it might have been possible to proceed with Confirmation Services taking into account ‘the disease situation in the local community’.
I am disappointed to have to bring you the news that the Government website has been updated today under the heading ‘Other religious ceremonies’ as follows:
“It is advised that religious ceremonies such as Baptisms, First Holy Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time. Further advice will follow on resumption of these ceremonies when it is safe to do so.“
Unfortunately, as you will have heard in the news, ‘the disease situation’ makes pressing on impossible for now, and we are back to where we started. The commentary since An Taoiseach’s speech at lunchtime refers to uncertainty for the coming three month period. Today’s announcement gives no indication when the ‘further advice’ referred to will be issued.
I am conscious that we had no Confirmations in the Diocese in 2020 because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, that we have also had none in 2021, and that this is the second time I have had to bring you news of the cancellation, until further notice, of your special day. This means that all of the dates that had been tentatively set are, for now, cancelled.
I look forward to the day when I may indeed celebrate your Confirmation with you.’