Catholic priest Father Kevin Robinson has sued NJ governor Phil Murphy alleging that executive order 107, invoked to fight the Coronavirus Pandemic, is infringing on his 1st and 14th amendment rights.
Fr. Robinson who serves St. Anthony of Padua church in North Caldwell, NJ alleges that he has been unable to carry out his priestly functions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, saying in an email to his parishioners ”my civil rights have been violated as a result of Gov. Murphy’s unconstitutional order to shut down religious services in the State.”
According to the suit Father Robinson:
“has been threatened by local law enforcement with arrest and criminal prosecution if he dares to offer a Mass or conduct any other public gathering in his church, which remains closed due to this threat.”
While churches have been placed under interdict as “non-essential” in New Jersey, The Red Elephants has confirmed that it is still possible to schedule appointments at the Montclair Center (A Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic) as early as Monday May 4th at 9:40 AM.
The lawsuit, filed by Christopher Ferrara of the St. Thomas More Society of Catholic Lawyers alleges that the governor’s executive order has violated Fr. Robinsons Free Exercise of Religion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly among other things.
Fr. Robinson stated:
“It is our hope that this lawsuit will force the State to treat religious institutions as an “essential service,” with the same allowances that are already made for other essential services. If we prevail, we will once again begin holding Mass at St. Anthony’s, albeit under some limitations.”
Despite stay at home orders, churches in Las Cruces, NM, Southeast Texas and Montana have begun to re-open, but in New Jersey, if Fr. Robinson tried to hold mass this Sunday with only 50 people, he would be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.
This past January, Fr. Robinson led a group of protestors to the State House in Trenton, NJ to protest mandatory vaccinations on the premise of religious objections. Ultimately, Fr. Robinson and his band of protestors were victorious, as the courts in new jersey struck down the bill.
Robinson’s case is currently underway, and depending on the ruling of the judge, mass may once again be celebrated in St. Anthony of Padua church as early as this Sunday. This is a developing story, and we will bring you updates as they become available. Source