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Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice / Public Domain

By W. Edgar Thompson, Crisis Magazine, May 14, 2020

W. Edgar Thompson writes from Florida.

W. Edgar Thompson

As of this writing, just five percent of Americans have not been on some form of lockdown over the past seven weeks to curb the spread of Covid-19. As society reopens, politicians, pundits, and business leaders are divided over the next step. So is the Catholic Church.

In some areas not hammered so hard by Covid, bishops seem eager for parishioners to regain a sense of normalcy, and thus are reopening churches, albeit slowly. Yet others, undoubtedly responding to the risk, reject that idea. For instance, Catholic churches in Georgia will remain closed through the end of May.

As with the secular aspects of reopening, it’s good that bishops have the discretion to weigh individually public health and safety with meeting the needs of their flocks. Just as importantly, though, it’s good to know that the people of God who want to celebrate their faith under the harsh glare of lockdown advocates have U.S. Attorney General William Barr to protect forcefully their right to religious freedom. ....

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