Protesters call for LA churches to reopen

Some churchgoers showed up to the downtown Cathedral on Sunday to call for churches to be allowed to reopen.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While President Trump ordered governors to open places of worship this holiday weekend, a federal court has backed Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to keep places of worship closed, for now.

That hasn't stopped some of the faithful from showing up outside local churches to pray.

On Sunday, some showed up to the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. They held a rosary outside leading up to a virtual mass inside - but also came to rally for their home churches to reopen.

"We've been brokenhearted for all this time and ever since March 13," said churchgoer Pilar Chavando. "Next week will be 80 days, 80 days without the eucharist."

Houses of worship have been closed since March to prevent large groups of people from gathering in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But after nine weeks, some churchgoers are ready to return, calling churches and other houses of worship just as important and essential as other businesses that have been allowed to reopen.

"Churches are communities for a lot of people who live by themselves and right now we have a lot of people - I think it is up to 40 million - unemployed who are by themselves and a lot of people suffering with depression and isolation," said Sarah Halpin of Pasadena."

Susana Varela came with her daughter. A cancer survivor, she is optimistic parishioners will be able to safely gather.

"It's up to all of us" the La Puente resident said. "If we take care of each other there is no reason to be afraid to go back to church and to get infected because we all take care of each other. Everything should be fine."

Earlier t his week, 1,200 pastors and clergy from across California sent Newsom a letter saying they plan to resume in-person services by next week, regardless of the state's restrictions.

In a message to its followers the Archdiocese of Los Angeles says it will remain closed for now and services will continue to be virtual. The Diocese of Orange says it plans to resume masses on June 14.
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