Priests in India face charges for breaking COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings

Priests in India face charges for breaking COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings

An Indian policeman wearing a protective mask as a precaution against a new virus stands guard outside Siddhivinayak temple which was closed for the devotees in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (Credit: Rajanish Kakade/AP)

A Catholic priest in India has been arrested after breaking coronavirus restrictions by organizing a prayer meeting in the state of Kerala.

MUMBAI, India – A Catholic priest in India has been arrested after breaking coronavirus restrictions by organizing a prayer meeting in the state of Kerala.

Father P. Pauly was taken into custody on Monday by Kerat police after an early morning prayer session at the Kudapuzha Nithyasahaya Matha Church at Chalakudy, near Kochi.

“It was for violating the guidelines that is in place. He will be given bail,” an official told Daijiworld.

The police are also planning to register cases against 100 people who attended the morning prayers.

On March 19, two other priests were charged after celebrating public Mass after religious services were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had taken all precaution before conducting the Mass, which was part of the church’s feast. We had cancelled the celebrations and was conducting the Mass,” Father Thomas Pattamkulam told the New Indian Express.

The priests could face six months in jail and a monetary fine for violating the restrictions.


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