California Catholic church hit with COVID-19 fine after suing Gov. Newsom

California Catholic Church suing Gov. Newsom hit with COVID-19 fine

Los Angeles County has sent health department officials to a Catholic church currently suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom. It is an action that the Our Lady of the Angels Church claims is retaliation for the lawsuit.

On October 15, two health officials showed up at the Arcadia, California church, where they watched approximately 11 parishioners leave the building from a sidewalk and promptly cited them for holding indoor worship services in violation of California’s stringent coronavirus restrictions. The citation carries a $1,000 fine.

Father Trevor Burfitt filed a lawsuit against Newsom and other Californian state officials claiming that his rights were being violated in eight separate ways by the state’s COVID-19 regulations. The Daily Wire reports that Paul Jonna, an attorney for the church, described the citations as a “clear case of retaliation’ to the lawsuit against the state officials.

“They sent county inspectors over to the church a few times and attempted to eject two women praying in a 500-capacity church, basically alone in the church—just praying, worshiping God and [they] were threatened with citations for being inside the church,” said the attorney, who described a separate incident on October 20.

“We think these orders have been unconstitutional from the beginning,” Jonna said, adding, “It’s clear that the executive branches of these Democrat-run states, they’re using this as a massive power grab. And the tyranny is just shocking to most Americans who understand how our country was founded and designed to have three separate branches of government. We’re seeing these states being controlled and governed by one branch. The legislatures are not really providing input and the courts are just sitting by.”

The lawyer told the publication that church congregants “need to be able to worship God” and “access the sacraments,” stating that the deprivation of these rights for the “sake of their safety at this point in the pandemic, with the statistics as we understand them, it’s just unjustified and it’s unjust.”