France’s highest court orders review of Covid-19 restrictions on church attendance

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                Le Conseil d'État français, la plus haute juridiction du pays, a ordonné au gouvernement de réviser une règle limitant à 30 le nombre de personnes dans les églises pendant les services religieux.
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                                    <p>Le Conseil a déclaré dimanche dans un communiqué que la mesure n'était pas proportionnée aux risques d'infection à coronavirus.

Last week, the government announced that a nationwide lockdown in place since October 30 would be lifted in stages.

Shops selling non-essentials were allowed to reopen from Saturday and indoor church services were also allowed to resume, but worshipers were capped at 30 regardless of the size of the place of worship. .

Catholic organizations have challenged the limit, arguing that churches and cathedrals are much more spacious than outlets, where the limit is one person per eight square meters.

“When we see the images of yesterday’s demonstration with this tight crowd, and we think that in the large churches there can only be 30 people, it is absurd”, declared the bishop of Nanterre, Matthieu Rouge, on BFM TV, referring to the demonstrations in Paris against article 24 of the “world security” law.

The French government has denied that the Catholic faithful are stigmatized.

France is “not the only country” to have adopted this type of measure, said Pascale Leglise, representative of the Ministry of the Interior.

She said it was pointless to compare businesses and places of worship.

“In a store, people walk by, don’t talk to each other, don’t sit next to each other,” she said, noting that theaters, cinemas, bars and restaurants remained closed.

However, the Church acknowledged that “thirty people (in a place of worship) is not a lot”, adding that places of worship could “hold more masses – not just on Sunday mornings.”

Religious representatives were due to meet Prime Minister Jean Castex later Sunday.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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