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A pastor who encouraged parishioners to attend in-person church services, telling them to not “cower in fear” from coronavirus, has just tested positive for Covid-19, according to The Hill.

  • Monsignor Charles Pope, the pastor of Holy Comforter St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington D.C., tested positive for the virus on July 27th, merely days after he had written an article criticizing the shutdown and on the same day he appeared on the religious radio program “Morning Glory” and insinuated that Catholics who didn’t attend service were “lukewarm” in their faith.
  • Pope has said that he has complied with all public health mandates and wore a mask when speaking with parishioners:

“Whenever I was told to wear a mask, I always did. We are Christians. We believe that there’s a role for suffering. It’s not appropriate for a Christian to be afraid.”

  • Dawn Goldstein, a DC resident and parishioner of nearby St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, criticized the pastor’s rhetoric, calling it inappropriate:

“He has used his platform to mock and ridicule Catholics who are taking precautions. It’s so un-pastoral, so unlike a priest.”

  • Washington, D.C.’s health department has “called on anyone who took communion on the afternoon of July 25, the morning of July 27, or on July 26 to self-quarantine for 14 days,” The Hill reported.

Read the full report.