San Francisco archbishop asks mayor to remove ‘excessive limits’ restricting public worship outdoors
PETITION: Support pastors fighting against oppressive state mandates! Sign the petition here.
SAN FRANCISCO, September 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is calling on political and health authorities to ease the continued severe restrictions on public worship in San Francisco.
Under San Francisco coronavirus restrictions, only outdoor religious services are currently permitted, with a maximum of 12 people attending.
Cordiolene has now launched a petition calling on Mayor London Breed; Dr. Grant Colfax, director of public health; and Dr. Tomás Aragón, a San Francisco health officer, to ease the restrictions.
“I am grateful that the mayor and other government leaders in San Francisco acknowledge the importance of mental and spiritual health to the overall well-being of our people, in addition to physical and economic health. I am therefore calling on the mayor and her public health officials to, at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship,” the petition read.
“Particularly for us as Catholics, attending the Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in person is the source and the summit of our faith, and we have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely,” Cordileone continued.
The petition referenced a recent article authored by three infectious disease experts that claims “for the last 14 or more weeks -- over one million public Masses have been celebrated following guidelines” and “for Catholic churches following these guidelines, no outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to church attendance.”
The letter to San Francisco’s leaders says the current restrictions mean that “faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store, or a nice dinner out on the patio.”
“This denial of access to safe outdoor public worship is a serious deprivation of our rights as Americans under the First Amendment and our spiritual needs as people of faith,” the petition continued.
“One million public Masses without any COVID outbreaks demonstrates that it is just as safe in San Francisco as in other parts of the state, such as San Mateo County, to permit large gatherings for outdoor public worship with reasonable safety precautions.”
In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy led by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal nuncio, and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats reminded politicians around the world that “the state has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the church.”
“This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends. For this reason, as pastors we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments,” the signatories stated.