The Chicago-based St. Charles Borromeo Society today praised Archbishop Bernie Hebda and the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota for taking a strong stand to defend the importance of Catholic worship during this crisis.
“We rejoice to see that Archbishop Hebda and the other Minnesota Bishops have shown true Pastoral care for their flock in challenging their Governor’s policy, limiting religious services to 10 people or less, while allowing 50 percent occupancy in retail stores,” said Lisa Bergman, co-founder of the St. Charles Borromeo Society. “No doubt Minnesota Catholics are immensely grateful today for their Bishop’s courage.”
The St. Charles Borromeo Society is a lay-led initiative formed in April with the express purpose of fighting for the safe restoration of public Masses. On their website, www.OpenOurChurches.org, they encourage the faithful around the US to organize outdoor prayer rallies “to put a human face to our request and shine a light on the urgency of our need for the free practice of our Faith.”
Earlier this week, they delivered a formal rejection of Cardinal Cupich’s reopening plan for Illinois churches, saying “It is an unacceptable response to the needs of the Chicago area faithful.”
Lisa Bergman summarized their reasons for rejecting Cupich’s plan: “The USCCB created guidelines for reopening that balance safety with the integrity of the Sacraments. Cardinal Cupich chose to ignore these, instead imposing an unprecedented certification process on each parish. He demands safety procedures unseen outside health facilities, and then threatens ‘random assessments’ to ‘ensure continued compliance.’ And despite this iron fist treatment, he refuses to challenge the arbitrary 10-person attendance limit set by the governor.”
Bergman finished by stating, “It renews our confidence to see good shepherds like Archbishop Hebda insisting upon the right to feed their flock during this difficult time. We hope that other bishops will soon follow his lead.”