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Early restart to public Mass will 'lead to loss of life', warns priests' group

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A group of Catholic priests has criticised those demanding that public Masses be reinstated before the July 20 timeline as "grossly irresponsible".

In a statement, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which represents more than 1,000 priests in Ireland, said religious groups pushing for an early reopening were "promoting their own self-serving and self-interested agendas" and that claiming entitlement to special treatment was both inappropriate and unacceptable.

"In the present context, gathering people together - especially elderly people who are most at risk - is grossly irresponsible and will lead to great pain, suffering and loss of life for many individuals and families," the group said.