DENVER (CBS4)– Pres. Donald Trump says churches and other houses of worship are essential and ordered them open. He said that if the governors don’t abide by his request, he will override them.
“The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors,” said Trump.
In Colorado, churches are allowed to be open under the safer-at-home guidelines. The houses of worship must abide by social distancing and congregate in groups of less than 10.
Many mosques, synagogues and other places of worship have yet to reopen in Colorado as they assess how to do it safely.
The Office of Gov. Jared Polis released this statement on Friday, “Under Safer At Home, Colorado’s churches and places of worship are already successfully operating safely in-person and virtually. The Governor has been engaged with the faith community throughout this pandemic. The Governor spoke with Archbishop Aquila earlier this week and thanked him for the continuing dispensation from receiving communion as well as the precautions they have taken about resuming in-person communion. He rejoices that Coloradans celebrate our faith, and limited in-person religious gathering will continue to be conducted in as safe a way as possible while honoring the sanctity of life for parishioners by following state and local health orders as well as the important guidance that the faith community is putting together with health officials. The Governor celebrates that for many Coloradans, our faith and spiritual community are critical to our well-being, especially in a time of crisis. The Governor continues to join leaders of all faiths in urging individuals over age 65 to remain at home whenever possible and enforce social distancing and safety protocols consistent with state law and health guidance at religious observances that occur during this global pandemic.”
The Archdiocese of Denver released this statement: We have always believed that places of worship are essential for the freedom of worship in a civil society.
The Archdiocese of Denver, including Archbishop Aquila, have been involved in discussions with Governor Polis, his advisors and other faith leaders to help establish guidelines and protocols that would safely allow for increased attendance at places of worship for people who feel comfortable attending a religious service.
As restrictions are eased with regards to other areas of society, particular attention should be given to places of worship to allow them to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of their people.
The Archdiocese resumed limited public Masses two weeks ago, but we continue to encourage anyone who is in an at-risk group or who simply is not ready to attend public gatherings to stay home.