Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Reacts to SCOTUS Ruling on Religious Freedom

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Posted: Nov 26, 2020 10:00 AM
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn Reacts to SCOTUS Ruling on Religious Freedom

Source: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

As we reported on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled in a vote of 5-4 that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's edicts mandating limits on Catholic diocese and synagogues in New York City violated the First Amendment. Newly tinted Justice Amy Coney Barrett was the deciding vote.

“It is time — past time — to make plain that, while the pandemic poses many grave challenges, there is no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court's opinion.

In a new statement, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn cheered the ruling that put the governor in his place.

"I have said from the beginning the restrictions imposed by Governor Cuomo were an overreach that did not take into account the size of our churches or the safety protocols that have kept parishioners safe," said The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. 

"Our churches," he later says, "have not been the cause of any outbreaks." He argues that their practice is essential, for "what could be more essential than safely gathering in prayer in a time of pandemic."

But that hasn't stopped the state's leaders from treating them as targets. De Blasio has specifically called out the community more than once. In April, after he learned of a funeral gathering in Brooklyn, he sent the participants a public warning.

"My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed," he said on Twitter. "I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period."

He kept it up a month later.

Thank goodness it's a new era at the Supreme Court.