During a recent press conference Democrat Minnesota Governor Tim Walz argued that it’s “up for debate” whether houses of worship should be deemed “essential.”
“I think the case that the president is making and that may be up for debate in this country of deeming houses of worship essential, essential services and that’s one that we take into consideration.” said Walz.
Per Breitbart, during the briefing, in which he was joined by state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Gov. Walz announced new guidelines for religious services, saying he would allow houses of worship to reopen at 25 percent occupancy.
The governor’s decision came on the heels of confrontation with the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota, who announced last week that public Masses would resume as of May 26, in defiance of the governor’s restrictions.
Many people of faith “were disappointed in Governor Walz’s May 13 announcement that he would end the Stay-at-Home order to allow more commerce but prohibit religious gatherings of more than ten people,” an order that “defies reason,” declared the bishops in a May 20 letter.
Insisting that the life of faith is “essential,” the bishops declared that they have given Catholic parishes “permission for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass on Tuesday, May 26, which will give us time to be ready for the celebration of Pentecost on May 31.”
“Parishes will be required to follow the strict protocols we have published for sanitation and social distancing and will have to limit attendance to one-third of the seating capacity of the church,” they said. “No one will be obliged to attend, as the bishops of Minnesota will continue to dispense from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.”
The bishops insisted that they have striven to work collaboratively with the Walz Administration as well as highlighting their overarching concern for the spiritual and physical well-being of their flock. They also noted the injustice of the governor’s arbitrary targeting of religious practice for especially strict regulation.