Syracuse clergy respond to President Trump’s announcement that churches should reopen this weekend

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump declared that churches and other houses of worship are “essential’ and called on governors across the country to let them reopen.

Not so fast, says a pastor of one Syracuse church.

Pastor Daren Jaime of The People’s AME Zion Church in Syracuse told CNN “churches are essential, but our congregants aren’t expendable. We have to make sure the people coming to our houses of worship are given the best possible protection. To open the doors and say, ‘the churches are open’ does not answer the questions in full. How are we going to do this, what are the practices going to be?” 

Pastor Jaime went on to praise New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts at reopening houses of worship with “faith-based, interfaith council talking about developing policies and strategies that we can get there. We believe in progression but progression must be made with caution.”

Pastor Jaime is a member of that council, the Interfaith Advisory Council. You can read more about it in Jennifer Sander’s report.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, which issued a statement from Bishop Douglas Lucia, “We in the Diocese of Syracuse are anxious to return to public worship, celebrating Mass and the other sacraments. However, we will do so in a way that will keep people safe and healthy.  We are awaiting further clarifications of what today’s announcement means, however we were already planning to release protocols for public worship to begin on Pentecost, next weekend.”

Click the player below to watch NewsChannel 9’s interview with Pastor Daren Jaime:


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