Washington DC’s Fox affiliate reports:
A DC Catholic church is closed until further notice after a pastor contracted COVID-19, forcing staff and congregation members into quarantine. The Holy Comforter Saint Cyprian Catholic Church is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. DC Health said parishioners who took communion should self-quarantine.
The pastor who is sick, Monsignor Charles Pope, has criticized COVID-19 restrictions, people not attending mass and “fear mongering” by media over the virus. Pope told FOX 5 Sunday night that he started experiencing symptoms on Monday, got a rapid test, and the church was shut down immediately.
Pope has been outspoken about his views that there is too much fear over the virus and people should not be afraid. Pope said he feels he’s been misinterpreted in statements he made on a radio program where he said about half of people who’ve stopped coming to church are “lukewarm” Catholics.
The pastor of a Catholic church on Capitol Hill who urged people not to ‘cower in fear’ of the coronavirus has contracted COVID-19, prompting D.C. health officials to tell about 250 staff and parishioners to self-quarantine for two weeks. https://t.co/0iXSERzIHf
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 3, 2020