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Catholics demonstrated outside St. Louis Cathedral in Versailles on Sunday against COVID-19 restrictions which ban churches from holding religious services.
Protesters with banners chanted ‘We want Mass!’ as they sang hymns and listened to activists speaking from stage.
"We consider that banning masses is an unprecedented rupture of qualities and goes against the freedom of worship enshrined in the Constitution," said one of them.
Since France entered a second lockdown on October 30, the government prohibited public meetings in the country’s religious buildings.
SOT, Catholic protester (French): "We consider that banning Masses is an unprecedented rupture of qualities and goes against the freedom of worship enshrined in the Constitution."
SOT, Brieuc, rally organiser (French): "It is important for Catholics to express their attachment to Mass and to show that the permissions granted at home, in places of worship outside Mass hours are not sufficient because Mass is the place of physical encounters and Christ cannot be replaced by interposed screens. Secondly, it is important for us to proclaim freedom of worship in this country."
SOT, Brieuc, rally organiser (French): "This action by the State is not legitimate. It is up to the churches to take their responsibilities, as they have already done, to ensure the effective containment of the pandemic. Moreover, since the end of the first confinement, when masses were again authorised, the church has assumed this role with great efficiency and no clusters have been detected in churches in France."
SOT, Chantal, Catholic worshipper (French): "The church is a communion, it is not something else. Without a sacrament, we are empty, we have nothing. On television, you watch it but there is not the same participation, you don’t have a sacrament, you don’t receive the body of Christ. That has nothing to do with it. It’s an intrinsic need."
SOT, Hubert, Catholic worshipper (French): "The government is embarrassed by many problems, but it should not prevent us from attending Mass. It should make proper sanitary arrangements and allow Christians to attend and participate in Mass."
Video ID: 20201115-055
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