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'This ruling is unacceptable': Maine Bishop frustrated by limits on church gatherings

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 47.8%. 2 min read.

Bishop Robert Deeley says the updated guidelines do nothing to help most churches in Maine

Maine's Catholic bishop is unhappy with Gov. Janet Mills' capacity limits put on churches, saying they do not make sense compared to what other nearby states are doing. Mills recently expanded gathering limits to allow five people per 1,000 square feet of space, or 50 people, whichever is greater.

Bishop Richard Deeley says that equates to a slight increase of capacity at fewer than 10 of 141 Catholic churches in Maine. "I think that not giving more latitude to people to be able to exercise their constitutional right to worship is harming them," Deeley said. Churches in Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut are allowed to be half-full.

Deeley says there's enough space for more than what is currently allowed. "There may not be room for 150, but there's certainly room for more than 75," Deeley said. Parishioners are still able to attend virtual services, but some are not fond of watching on a computer screen. "I know a lot of people that do it and that's good, but I prefer to come in person and receive communion," said Christiane Godbout of Portland. In the meantime, online Masses will continue, while Deeley says he is praying for a "rapid and peaceful end to the pandemic. "

PORTLAND, Maine —Maine's Catholic bishop is unhappy with Gov. Janet Mills' capacity limits put on churches, saying they do not make sense compared to what other nearby states are doing. Mills recently expanded gathering limits to allow five people per 1,000 square feet of space, or 50 people, whichever is greater.

Bishop Richard Deeley says that equates to a slight increase of capacity at fewer than 10 of 141 Catholic churches in Maine. "I think that not giving more latitude to people to be able to exercise their constitutional right to worship is harming them," Deeley said. Churches in Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut are allowed to be half-full.

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