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San Francisco Archbishop Demands That Political Leaders ‘Free the Mass’


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The American Spectator

Religious Freedom will be center stage when the President nominates the next justice to the Supreme Court.

Anne Hendershott

September 20, 2020

In a Catholic Church that seems to be led by cowardly sheep instead of shepherds, San Francisco’s courageous Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is an exception. Unlike the majority of bishops throughout the country who have been silent in the face of discriminatory policies limiting or even preventing public Masses, Archbishop Cordileone has been willing to stand up to the inequitable treatment the City’s Catholics have received from a City administration intent on preventing parishioners from entering their own Churches for Mass.

True to his name which means “heart of a lion,” Archbishop Cordileone has decided it is time to push back against the unfair policies imposed by a recalcitrant City government and has mobilized parishioners to prayerfully participate on Sunday, September 20th in a Eucharistic procession to City Hall to protest the religious discrimination in the City. The San Francisco Archdiocese has ordered 100 banners which read: “We are Essential: Free the Mass!”

San Francisco’s Churches have been closed for public Mass since March and although the City’s mayor has recently allowed one person at a time to enter the Church for private prayer, public Masses continue to be banned in the City’s Catholic Churches. While California is one of several states flagged by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty as imposing greater restrictions on worship than other similar activities like dining and shopping, San Francisco is an outlier in its draconian policies — far more restrictive than even the state-wide regulations issued by California’s governor. Limiting outdoor Mass to only 12 people — including the priest — and keeping the Churches locked, the City’s Catholics have been effectively prevented from practicing their faith for nearly six months.

But, at the same time that Catholic Churches in San Francisco have been closed, the City has allowed indoor retail stores to operate at 50 percent capacity and outdoor patio dining. In late August, San Francisco County allowed restaurants to serve indoors at 25 percent capacity. Yet no one has been allowed to enter a Catholic Church. Earlier this month, the City of San Francisco finally agreed to allow one person at a time to visit inside the Church, yet, Masses within the Church are still not allowed.

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