Public Masses in San Francisco were suspended by the archdiocese on March 17, and the city's public health ordinances have not yet allowed for public indoor Masses.
Archbishop Cordileone later informed parishes that they could resume public Masses on June 14, according to the city attorney's office. However, the city said it informed the archdiocese on June 11 that indoor Masses were still barred "for the time being" as a public health risk.
Exceptions were made only for funerals with 12 or fewer persons, and live-streamed services where only necessary personnel were present to help with the Mass or video production.
On June 29, the city sent the archdiocese a cease-and-desist letter for public indoor Masses, saying that it had not officially amended the health order to allow for them.
"Our intention has always been to conform to what we understand to be the City orders and timelines," the archdiocese said July 2, noting that the city's orders had changed through the pandemic.
The situation continued through the summer. Archbishop Cordileone on July 30 urged prayer and fasting for an end to the pandemic and "for a restoration of public worship unhindered."
In August, Cordileone asked the mayor to "at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship."
The city, meanwhile, watched for any possible violations of its order, sending the archdiocese a letter on Aug. 12 outlining "several things of concern."
The city's mayor, London Breed, announced this week that outdoor religious services with up to 50 people would be permitted beginning Sept. 14, but indoor religious services were still prohibited until Oct. 1, where they would be permitted with a cap at 25 people.
Archbishop Cordileone is leading a Eucharistic procession past city hall on Sept. 20 as a protest against the ongoing orders limiting Masses. He wrote in his Washington Post op-ed that "all we are seeking is access to worship in our own churches, following reasonable safety protocols."
Pelosi, on Friday morning, said that the archbishop should abide by science in his desire to reopen churches.
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"With all due respect to my archbishop, I think we should follow science on this," she said.
She later added that "I don't know if he [Cordileone] was speaking as our pastor or as a lobbyist-advocate. But whatever it is, I am sure that he must have meant [reopen churches] if it is scientifically safe, rather than jeopardizing people's health if they want to go to Church."
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.