DENVER — A federal judge has ruled that two Denver-area churches may not be held to stricter capacity limits and mask-wearing rules than other businesses, although some religious leaders declined to welcome it as a positive development.
>> Video above: State, local leaders worried about rising COVID-19 cases in Colorado
“Judaism teaches that pikuach nefesh — saving a life — is the highest principle. To exceed safe numbers and to not require masks is a flagrant violation of this principle,” said Rabbi Rachel Kobrin of Denver’s Congregation Rodef Shalom.
“I do not see these decisions as political or that the state of Colorado is trying to stifle us,” said the Rev. Ronald Patrick Raab, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs. His church conducts eight Masses per weekend with 50 people each, per state guidelines.
“All of my decisions are based on the fact that we are facing a world-wide pandemic, a virus that still remains a mystery for the most part. We are not sure of the long-term effects," he added. “Every individual heals at a different rate. How the virus is spread also still remains much of a mystery. So we are adhering to these guidelines until further notice.”
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