French bishops say public Mass ban violates freedom of worship

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Rome Newsroom, Nov 3, 2020 / 09:00 am MT (CNA).- As France begins its second lockdown this year, French bishops are filing an urgent appeal to continue public Masses, arguing that the most recent coronavirus restrictions “violate freedom of worship.”

The French bishops’ conference announced Monday night that it would file a “référé liberté” with the Council of State regarding the lockdown decree issued last week. This urgent administrative procedure is filed as a petition to a judge for the protection of fundamental rights, in this case, the right to freedom of worship.

The Council of State both advises and judges the French government on its compliance with the law.

In a statement issued Nov. 2, the bishops said that the French government coronavirus decree “violates the freedom of worship which is one of the fundamental freedoms in our country.”