The French bishops are “both disappointed and surprised” at President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement that public worship would be limited to 30 people per church.
“This announcement is not at all in line with the discussions that have taken place in recent weeks with the ministers concerned,” a statement said.
“Indeed, this unrealistic and inapplicable measure is completely disrespectful of the reality of the religious practice of Catholics.”
The French bishops had originally proposed a protocol of reopening public liturgies at a third of each church’s capacity, with increased social distancing.
Following Macron’s announcement, some bishops took to social media to express their incredulity.
Bishop François Touvet of Châlons wrote on Twitter: “30 people in my cathedral is ridiculous and absurd. It is 96 m long and 25 m wide (40m transept) by 30 m high. Total = 2500 m²: with 4 m² per person, we can fit 600 people! You have to learn to count!”