Thursday, May 21, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 8.49.41 AMFox News reports that the Minnesota archdiocese and all the bishops of Minnesota have defied the state’s coronavirus limits on religious gatherings. Civil disobedience in the face of blatant religious repression. Bravo to the bishops of Minnesota — and may all the bishops in the US have the courage to do the same.

“In defiance of limits on religious gatherings, Minnesota‘s Catholic Church said Wednesday it will not comply with the state mandate.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said in a letter that its decision was based on Gov. Tim Walz’s lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order. Like in other states, the requirement limits worship services to no more than 10 people to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

“The bishops of Minnesota are united in our conviction that we can safely resume public Masses in accordance with both our religious duties and with accepted public health and safety standards,” the letter read.

“We can worship in a way that reflects both the love of God and the love of our neighbors,” it continued. “Therefore, we are giving our parishes permission for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass on Tuesday, May 26, which will give us time to be ready for the celebration of Pentecost on May 31.”

The archdiocese said parishes will be required to adhere to sanitation measures and social distancing protocols, and will limit attendance to one-third of a church’s seating capacity.

“We are blessed to live in a nation that guarantees the free exercise of religion. This right can only be abridged for a compelling governmental interest, and only in a way that is narrowly tailored to be the least restrictive means of achieving the desired end,” the archdiocese said.

“That is why a large majority of states now allow in-person religious services, including many states that had previously suspended in-person religious services,” it added.

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