Cardinal Dolan cautious on reopening churches

Posted at 7:55 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 22:11:53-04

MANHATTAN — There will be no Sunday masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral or any churches throughout the archdiocese in the immediate future. as Cardinal Timothy Dolan walks through a political minefield of what President Trump wants versus what Gov. Cuomo wants.

"We need to take our time because we have a high moral responsibility here," said Dolan, while visiting two Catholic charities food programs on Staten Island.

The Archbishop of New York complimented President Trump for wanting to open houses of worship immediately:

"I appreciate his sensitivity that church is an essential service."

But the Cardinal also said he will follow Gov. Cuomo’s directive limiting faith services to 10 people or fewer and follow the CDC guidelines that masks and hand sanitizer must be used:

"We need to be attentive to health care of our people and reopen in a gradual layered way," he said.

A decidedly slower approach than the president declared at an impromptu news conference Friday.

"If they don’t do it i will override the governors," President Trump said of state executives who may keep churches closed.

The director of the Center for Constitutional Rights says the 10th Amendment makes it clear that President Trump is on thin Ice here.

“The states have the full authority to regulate local matters such as the opening of businesses and churches and the president cannot override it under our system," said Baher Azmy.

A leader in the Brooklyn diocese says churches in Brooklyn and Queens will reopen on Tuesday for solitary prayer but not for masses, in keeping with the governor’s guidance.