Toronto church

Toronto Archbishop slams rules that allow more people inside liquor store than church

In a letter sent to parishioners last week, Toronto's Archbishop expressed just how unfair he finds the new grey zone restrictions taking effect in the city.

With stay-at-home orders being lifted, retailers will be allowed to reopen at 25 per cent capacity, although religious gatherings such as weddings and funerals remain capped at 10 people.

"Places of worship, regardless of whether they seat 100 or 1,000 people, must remain at a hard cap of 10 people," said Cardinal Thomas Collins, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, via the letter.

"Next week, a funeral at St. Michael's Cathedral (capacity 1,500) will be capped at 10 people, while around the corner dozens can enter the local liquor store and thousands will visit the Eaton Centre. This makes no sense."

The letter also includes a story about how a 50-person film crew was given permission to use the basement of a local church, though later that week only ten people could be in attendance at a funeral within the same building.

"Which of these do we consider more essential?" Collins asked.

He goes on to say that we must be prudent in our actions as we are still in the midst of a pandemic but believes that it’s time to address the growing inequities facing our faith communities.

Collins urges churchgoers to respectfully request from their MPPs that any restrictions for places of worship use a percentage of capacity as opposed to an arbitrary number.

He acknowledges that elected officials and health officials are in an extremely difficult position and does not believe they're intending to suppress religion in any way.

With many other businesses such as restaurants still expected to remain closed for the foreseeable future, it could still be some time before there's a sense of normalcy for those looking to eat, pray, love.

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