Castellon de la Plana, Spain, Feb 4, 2021 / 11:02 am
The mayor of Castellón de la Plata has has closed the Basílica de la Mare de Déu del Lledó and other Catholic churches in city, on the grounds that it is necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Amparo Marco Gual, the alcaldessa, or mayor, of the city, is a member of the Valencian branch of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.
Castellón de la Plata's city council announced Jan. 15 that the closure is part of "a series of exceptional measures to stop the spread of COVID-19." But the Diocese of Segorbe-Castellón de la Plana called the measure a violation of the independence of the Church.
The diocese said Jan. 30 that "this decision was made unilaterally without prior or subsequent official communication to this Archdiocese or to the pastor of the basilica, responsible for worship therein, violating the fundamental right to freedom of worship."