New York, of course, is Ground Zero for the virus in the United States, and the entire state is effectively on lockdown with a “stay-at-home” order.
A Staten Island couple threw caution — and a slew of dire government warnings — to the wind Sunday by getting married in front of nearly two dozen people, several of them elderly, at a local Catholic church.
Irene Sanzone and John Fuchs’ afternoon nuptials at Our Lady of Pity Church in the Bulls Head section of the borough raised the wrath of the Archdiocese of New York, which oversees Staten Island’s parishes.
“The wedding was not in keeping with archdiocesan guidelines and should not have been held,’’ archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling told The Post.
A source familiar with the wedding was even more incensed over it.
“It’s terrible,’’ the source told The Post. “You’re putting people in the community at risk. You’re putting the wedding party and guests at risk.
“It’s ‘Corona, in sickness and in health.’ ”
The CDC a week ago issued guidelines urging Americans not to attend gatherings of 10 people or more because of the deadly pandemic.
At 8 p.m., a New York state ban on “non-essential’’ public gatherings — which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has described as of “any size for any reason’’ — went into effect.
New York now has more coronavirus cases than any other state — as its tally increases by the day.
Those particularly at risk include the elderly.
An Our Lady of Pity staffer insisted that according to archdiocese guidelines, a wedding “is allowed. It’s discouraged, but it’s allowed.
“[The archdiocese] just minimized the groups. They didn’t give an exact number.’’
But Zwilling said, “In this particular case, a wedding should be postponed and not held during this time unless it is an emergency situation, and then with only the bride and groom, two witnesses and the officiant [priest or deacon] present.”
The archdiocese added:
“The Archdiocese will be certain to reiterate our guidelines to all of our priests so that they understand what the exact boundaries are regarding what they can and cannot do during this COVID-19 crisis,” said Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling.
Any wedding scheduled to take place during a pandemic that’s hit New York City harder than any place in the country should be postponed unless it “is an emergency situation,” Zwilling said Monday.
“We will be sure that all priests are given clear instructions, including this particular priest.”