SPOKANE, Wash. - Bishop Thomas Daly, Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, has responded to President Donald Trump's declaration that churches and houses of worship are essential and should be reopened.
In a series of tweets on Friday, May 22, Daly said that "While the President's sentiments are welcome to many people of faith, the reality is that it is Friday. Implementing parish safety plans by tomorrow is unrealistic."
Daly went on to say that he has asked pastors to maintain the status quo for the next few days. He's hopeful to have further direction to give them by Tuesday, May 26.
Daly also noted that he will continue consulting with local health experts and the bishops of Washington state as final adjustments are made to allow for responsible worship. He concluded the series of tweets by assuring that they are close to reopening.
Earlier in the day, Trump said that he has deemed churches and other houses of worship “essential” and called on governors across the country to allow them to reopen this weekend.
Governor Jay Inslee's office also issued the following statement:
"Gov. Jay Inslee’s office continues to work with spiritual leaders and health experts across the state to identify ways to do this safely. While we have read the president’s comments, there is no order and we think he understands at this point that he can’t dictate what states can or cannot open."