French Catholics demanded Mass and were warned and fined.

As Christmas approached, hundreds of Catholics throughout France gathered in several cities on November 15 to protest the government’s current epidemic-prevention policy and to demand the return of the right of the faithful to gather together for normal religious activities.

On that day, some 300 Catholics gathered in Bordeaux in the southwest, Nantes in the west, and Strasbourg in the east to demand that the government “return their right to celebrate Mass. Although many religious events have turned to social networks and live video streaming, the protesting faithful still believe that “praying at home is not enough”. A priest in Bordeaux said at the protest that “going to the supermarket to buy the necessities of life is allowed, but not to celebrate Mass, but the chances of contracting and spreading the new coronavirus are about the same on both occasions”. There were also protests that the government’s epidemic-prevention policy “undermines freedom and the values on which the republic was founded”. Catholic protesters in Paris had last received permission from the police to gather in the square in front of the church of Saint-Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement, but the Paris police said that the gathering in front of the church of Saint-Sulpice on the 15th was banned because the demonstrators had failed to comply with epidemic-prevention regulations, particularly by keeping people at a safe distance from each other.

Having failed to persuade the faithful not to pray on public roads, the organizers of the congregation’s event in Bordeaux were asked to go to the police station next Monday for an interview. Last Friday, French Interior Minister Damanan warned that “although it is not wanted, it will not hesitate to send police and armed police from this weekend to fine Catholics who repeatedly violate the rules.” On Monday, Damanan will meet for the second time with many representatives of French religious faiths to talk about how believers should perform various rituals in light of the new crown epidemic.