On Easter last year, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan looked out on an empty St. Patrick’s Cathedral amid the pandemic and thought, “Oh my God, I don’t mind an empty tomb on Easter but an empty church?”
Church leaders in Ireland are calling on the government to take the spiritual needs of the population into consideration, noting the country is the only one in Western Europe to continue to ban public worship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Chilean bishop is urging civil disobedience after several regions of the country went into lockdown again to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, imposing heavy restrictions on the celebration of religious ceremonies.
U.S. life has “dramatically changed” due to the yearlong pandemic, and alongside it, racial injustices and political divisions have shaken the nation, yet there is “comfort in God’s promise,” the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee said in a March 9 pastoral message.
Catholic prelates in Texas and Mississippi will, for the most part, maintain COVID-19 precautions at their parishes despite recent announcements from each state’s governors that restrictions will ease.
In response to the Supreme Court’s Dec. 3 order saying federal judges should take another look at pandemic limits on California churches, San Francisco’s archbishop said: “The time is overdue for our civil officials to work with us and other churches on worshiping safely.”
An annual survey on public attitudes toward religious faith by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty indicates, not surprisingly, a considerable amount of objection to government-imposed limits on the size of congregations in houses of worship amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Diocese of Brooklyn’s federal lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo over regulations he imposed on houses of worship in COVID-19 hot spots is at the center of several fast-moving developments.