Go from one “Quantitative limit of thirty faithful to a gauge of 6 m² by faithful “, this is what Prime Minister Jean Castex proposed on the media channels BFMTV / RMC on Wednesday 2 December.
Sunday, November 29, the Council of State had demanded from the government that it revises its gauge set at thirty faithful in all places of worship, decreed by health measure. The courts, seized by several applicants, including the Conference of Bishops of France, had ruled that this “Prohibition was disproportionate” and represented “A serious and clearly illegal attack on the freedom of worship”.
→ THE FACTS. Worship: an expanded capacity for religious celebrations
The head of government, however, specified that“No decision” had not yet been taken, because the three-day period granted by the Council of State only expires on Thursday, December 3 in the morning. He added that new, less restrictive measures could apply to religious ceremonies from December 15, and that Christmas celebrations would be the subject of “Special rules”, possibly involving “Loosen the gauge”.
The preference of the cults is on a gauge of 4 m² per faithful
Tuesday 1er December, the representatives of the cults met with the Ministry of the Interior to negotiate a new health protocol, in line with the different situations of each religion and religious building. “The preference of all cults is for a gauge of 4 m² per faithful”, told The cross the President of the Protestant Federation of France François Clavairoly, who specified the still consultative nature of this meeting.
Three solutions were reportedly proposed by the participants in this meeting with the Ministry of the Interior. The first would be to ensure a distribution of the faithful proportional to the area of worship by dividing it by eight. The second would be to respect one meter of difference between each person, and the third would be to maintain the gauge of thirty people for the smallest buildings, so as not to penalize them.
The limit to thirty of the number of people authorized to attend health ceremonies, in this second period of confinement, was announced on November 24 by the government. It had aroused the anger of the leaders of the Catholic Church, who had seized the judge of the summary freedom of the Council of State and had spoken with Matignon to renew the dialogue and to think about a new health protocol, “More realistic”.