Priest in residence, Father Nick Meisl listens to a physically distanced confession in a parking garage at St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Priest in residence, Father Nick Meisl listens to a physically distanced confession in a parking garage at St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

White Rock Catholic church joins petition for B.C. government to allow in-person services

Star of the Sea Catholic Parish asks parishioners to consider signing document

A White Rock Catholic church has joined others in promoting a petition addressed to Premier John Horgan to adjust COVID-19 regulations and allow churches to hold in-person services.

The petition, started by Father James Hughes from St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver, says it’s unfair that some businesses and commercial services are allowed to continue operations but not community churches.

“Although it is true that we can pray through online services, Roman Catholics must gather in person in order to receive Holy Communion while other religions also have rites which must be done in person safely that the online experience cannot replace,” Hughes wrote.

“We would appreciate a reconsideration of the present Provincial Order.”

As of Tuesday (Dec. 8) morning, the petition had collected 2,254 signatures of a 2,500 goal.

After people sign the document, they’re asked to provide a reason for their decision.

Many of the signatories commented that their church has been following safety protocols, including mandating masks, promoting social distancing and regular cleaning.

“I don’t understand why churches are closed while every other business remains open,” Bonnie Way wrote. “We’ve followed safe, careful protocols at church. Let us keep gathering.”

However, some comments promote inaccurate information and push conspiracy theories.

“All this crap so big pharma can increase vaccine sales. Let’s gather and stand up against this injustice against them suppressing our human needs and rights,” Ken Blucke wrote on the petition.

Star of the Sea Catholic Parish published a link to the petition on Facebook on Dec. 6, asking parishioners to consider signing the document.

SEE ALSO: B.C. church defies provincial ban on in-person services for second time A Langley church that was fined for holding in-person services a week ago held them again Dec. 6, with what one witness described as “bylaw officers” observing from the parking lot.

However, no tickets were issued to the Riverside Calvary church at the time, said Kari Simpson, executive director of the Langley-based Culture Guard group.

Two other churches in Chilliwack have defied the order against in-person services as well, calling it a violation of the Charter of Rights.

– with files from Dan Ferguson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read