A federal judge on Friday rejected a request from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to void New York state’s limits on religious gatherings in coronavirus hot spots, which the diocese argued had effectively closed its churches.
Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis declined to issue a preliminary injunction sought by the diocese that would have exempted more than two dozen of its parishes from the state’s temporary stringent restrictions.
Garaufis said he was satisfied the restrictions were “guided by science, not a desire target religious practice.”
“In fact, if the court issues an injunction and the State is correct about the acuteness of the threat currently posed by hotspot neighborhoods, the result could be avoidable death on a massive scale like New Yorkers experienced in the Spring,” the judge wrote in a 24-page order.
This weekend, as we did last weekend, my parish will be admitting 25 people into the main church for our four Masses; another 25 will be admitted to our convent chapel for other liturgies taking place at the same time. (One or more may be a deacon-led Communion service.)