Politics Washington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: 'We will wait'

20:06  23 may  2020
20:06  23 may  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Trump calls on churches to reopen this weekend

  Trump calls on churches to reopen this weekend President Trump on Friday said he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential" and called on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the threat of the coronavirus. © Alex Brandon President Trump. “Today I’m identifying houses of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said during a hastily arranged press conference Friday. He said if governors don't abide by his request, he will “override" them, though it's unclear what authority he has to do so.

a large clock tower stands against a blue sky: Washington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: © Thinkstock Washington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: "We will wait."

Bishops from the Washington State Catholic Conference responded to President Trump's calls on state governors to reopen churches, saying, "We will wait."

"We want to let you know the public celebration of Mass was suspended, not out of fear, but out of our deepest respect for human life and health," reads a Friday statement signed by several bishops in a "unified response."

Trump on Friday urged governors to "do the right thing" and reopen houses of worship immediately.

"If they don't do it, I will override the governors. America, we need more prayer, not less," he said.

However, the bishops indicated that they are not yet ready to reconvene in-person services.

"While we share the desire to bring people back to Mass as quickly as possible, we will wait to schedule our public worship when it is safe and prepared to do so," the statement read.

The bishops' statement added that the state conference follows guidance from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Thomistic Institute, along with public health experts, and is working to develop a plan with Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) for a safe reopening.

"Parishes must create an environment that is not only safe, but is liturgically reverent," the bishops said, adding that there is no current date established for Mass gatherings resuming in the state.

California is reopening too quickly, posing 'very serious risk,' health officer warns .
SAN FRANCISCO - A key architect of the nation's first coronavirus shelter-in-place order is criticizing California's increasingly fast pace of lifting stay-at-home restrictions. In particular, Dr. Sara Cody, health officer for Santa Clara County - home to Silicon Valley and Northern California's most populous county - said she was concerned by the decision to allow gatherings of up to 100 people for religious, political and cultural reasons, warning it poses a serious risk of spreading COVID-19. In particular, Dr.

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