The archdiocese filed a federal lawsuit Dec. 11, charging that the city’s 50-person cap on houses of worship be struck down as an unconstitutional limit on freedom of religion and an unfair rule because it did not take into account the size of the house of worship.
Citing Christmas and the need to get ready for the important holiday, the archdiocese’s lawyers last week filed an order asking the U.S. District Court to decide right away. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser responded last Wednesday by modifying the city’s rules on worship services and other activities.
Limits on indoor worship were set at 250 people or 25 percent of seating capacity, whichever is smaller.
Messages for the archdiocese and its attorneys were not immediately returned and it was not clear exactly what the settlement consisted of.
Racine’s statement said under its terms, the Archdiocese will abide by Bowser’s new rules.
“I am proud that D.C. residents have overwhelmingly embraced science-based commonsense measures to protect our personal safety and that of our neighbors. By wearing masks, frequently washing our hands, and limiting contact with others, the District has maintained a lower COVID-19 case rate than many states — though we have recently seen cases rising,” he wrote.
“It is my hope that District residents will continue to support and keep each other safe through this difficult and unprecedented time, and that we have a peaceful, healthy, and safe holiday season.”