Is it time to go back to church? The U.S. Attorney is
threatening legal action against San Francisco if it doesn’t allow churches to
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is relieved
the U.S. Attorney’s Office is pressuring the city to allow places of worship to
The Department of Justice sent Mayor London Breed a letter that
said current COVID-19 restrictions limiting places of worship to one person at
a time infringe on religious freedom and violate First Amendment rights.
The letter said the restrictions must be changed or further
action may be taken.
“People don’t have a First Amendment right to get a haircut
or have a manicure, but we do have a First Amendment right to worship,” Cordileone
said. “We’re being treated more severely than others. I’m grateful to the attorney
In a statement, the city attorney said, “Maybe the federal
government should focus on an actual pandemic response instead of lobbing
carless legal threats. San Francisco is opening at the speed of safety.”
Baptist church Reverend Amos Brown would like to know more
about why the attorney general is weighing in. He said that while the health
department could improve communication with faith leaders, he believes
restrictions save lives.
“We shouldn’t be foolish or so impatient that we aren’t
careful about safety and the lives of others,” Brown said.
The San Francisco interfaith council said the city’s health
officer will speak to faith leaders on Thursday about the restrictions, but
some changes to the health order are also expected next week that will allow
places of worship to have services inside at 25% capacity or up to 50 people.