Holy Mass or Public Health: Which Should We Protect First?

«At a time when everybody is undergoing heavy restrictions on personal freedoms, Italian catholic bishops say they “can’t tolerate” any restriction on their ability to perform religious services in public, and are putting pressure on our Government to revoke the limitations in place. But freedom of worship must not prevail over the common good. And bishops requiring privileges which put people in danger is outrageous.»

This is how Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics’ Secretary Roberto Grendene commented on the clash between the Italian Government and the bishops about worship services, which are not in the list of the activities allowed to restart on May the 4th by yesterday’s decree.

«Religious ceremonies – Grendene remarks – are classified as “gatherings” and involve, as stated by the technical-scientific committee, “unavoidable critical issues”: for instance,  most churchgoers are elders, a category at risk, and the Holy Communion is such a “hygienic” practice that it has been identified as the cause of multiple outbreaks. In other words, Italian bishops require a privilege but utterly disregard the lives of the most vulnerable, who are put in danger. Furthermore, we can’t ignore that none of the 12 religious confessions that have an agreement with the Italian State have requested any exemption from the rules. It’s our Government’s duty to reject the Church’s request for a preferential lane. No alleged “divine right” may prevail over the laws, and over the safety of ordinary mortals, believers or not».

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