Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 4, 2020 / 11:30 am
The Bishop of Madison says a lawsuit against Dane County and the city of Madison may be needed to ensure the Church can serve the people of the diocese during the reopening phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't want to fight with anybody, but at the same time I think that there is a religious liberty issue here that we need to stand on in principle," Bishop Donald Hying of Madison told CNA in an interview on Wednesday evening.
Attorneys from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, acting for the diocese, sent a 17-page letter to Dane County officials and the mayor of Madison on Wednesday, June 3, threatening to file suit against the city and county if additional restrictions placed on houses of worship are not lifted by Friday, June 5.
Emergency Order 3, issued by Dane County May 22, caps all religious services at a 50-person limit during Phase 1 of reopening. But "essential businesses," including trampoline parks and shopping malls, are permitted to operate at 25% of the listed fire capacity during the same phase.