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‘Sacraments Cannot Be Live-Streamed’: SF Archbishop Cordileone Argues for Looser Church Restrict

Back in May, a group of California churches went before the U.S. Supreme Court with a plea to allow religious services to resume,  arguing that the governor’s imposed limits on how many people can worship indoors during the pandemic violated their freedom of religion.

At the time, the court voted to uphold the state’s rules, saying churches should be treated in the same fashion as secular gatherings such as concerts or sports events. But the makeup of the Supreme Court has since changed, with the addition of conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Two weeks ago, in a 5-4 ruling that included Barrett in the majority, the court  overturned New York’s restrictions on indoor worship, stating they violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. Now, a California churches is taking its challenge to the Supreme Court once again in hopes of getting a more favorable ruling.

Last week Bishop Art Hodges, pastor of South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, appeared on KQED Newsroom to talk with Priya David Clemens about what they’d like to see change about the current restrictions. Cordileone said religious services had been unjustly discriminated against and that churches could celebrate mass with effective safety protocols. “Sacraments cannot be live-streamed,” Cordileone said. Hodges, whose church submitted a new petition to the Supreme Court in November, argued for no restrictions on the number of people allowed inside religious services, saying churches “are the most essential enterprise in operation in the state of California.”

Watch below.

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