Archdiocese of Washington Statement on the New Executive Order in the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Below is the statement from the Archdiocese of Washington in response to the December 17 Executive Order from the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The order now allows D.C. churches up to 25 percent capacity for religious services with a maximum cap of 250 people of worshippers and leaders at Mass combined. The order comes after the Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit on December 11 petitioning the D.C. District Court to lift the 50-person cap on indoor religious gatherings in the District of Columbia.

Last night, the Mayor issued a new Executive Order lifting the 50-person cap on religious services in the District of Columbia and replacing it with new restrictions on religious worship.  We are grateful that the new order will allow us to welcome more of the faithful to Church during the Christmas season and beyond. We are continuing to evaluate the impact of these new rules, and it may still be necessary for the court to weigh in on the proper balance between public safety and the fundamental right to worship. As always, we welcome continued dialogue with the Mayor’s Office to ensure that current and future restrictions are fairly applied and do not unduly burden the free exercise of religion.    

For more information, please see the articles in the Catholic Standard here and here.