Saturday, May 23, 2020

Catholics and some Lutherans in Minnesota plan to buck their state’s governor and reopen churches May 26

Protesters gather outside Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s residence in St. Paul on May 14 to call on him to loosen coronavirus restrictions. (Jim Mone/AP)

By Michelle Boorstein

Leaders of two of Minnesota’s largest faith groups are planning to resume indoor worship services next week in defiance of the governor’s order, saying it’s “extreme and prejudicial” to put religious gatherings in a reopening category similar to that of tattoo parlors or hair salons and subject them to limits stricter than those placed on retail stores.

In a conference-call news conference Thursday, Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Catholic leader for the state, and the Rev. Lucas Woodford, president of the Minnesota South District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said they were fine with restrictions earlier in the pandemic. Now that there is a reopening plan, however, they said they can’t accept gathering limits for worship that surpass those affecting places such as the Mall of America.

Woodford was speaking for the whole state denomination of Missouri Lutherans.  Read more >>