Services resume at Quebec's houses of worship, but not everyone is happy
MONTREAL -- For the first time in weeks, Quebecers were able to gather in churches to worship, but not everyone is happy about the recently announced religious exemptions for the province's lockdown rules.
On Friday, the province announced that a maximum of 10 people would be permitted to gather in houses of worship.
Montreal archbishop Christian Lepine was among those pushed for the rule change.
“We conveyed to the government that it was important to keep the churches open and to allow some circulation, some celebration, because the spiritual need is a basic need for many people and a sign of hope,” he said.
Some people believe the exceptions don't go far enough. Congregation members from St. Leonard's Good News Chapel have been gathering outside the church on Sundays to protest the restrictions, saying attending services is essential for some.
“We help people, not just on a spiritual level, although that's primary, but also on a mental level,” said Steve Gesualdi. “We're there to be a support to the community, but it seems that at the moment we're needed most, we've been handcuffed.”
Others are displeased for a very different reason.
“If the government is permitting religious ceremonies, why don't they permit other types of ceremonies for the arts, culture, for associations that aren't religious?” said Mouvement Laique Quebecois spokesperson Daniel Baril.