A San Francisco church that violated state and local public health orders to host an indoor wedding ceremony with about 100 people last July — only to be caught in the act by city officials — is now the center of a COVID outbreak in its rectory.
Saints Peter and Paul Church in North Beach has seen at least three priests infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks, and the church is consequently closed until February 13, according to its website. The outbreak and church closure were first reported Monday by ABC 7.
"Important!! On Friday Fr. Al, Fr. Armand, and Fr. Bob tested positive for Covid, so until further notice, all Masses will streamed ONLY!" a message on the website homepage reads. "Pray for us!"
Saints Peter and Paul Church was among at least several, if not dozens of local Catholic churches that have allegedly tried to quietly defy health orders in the last year in order to hold in-person worship services — much like some more evangelical varieties of churches have done in other parts of California in the last year.
The story about the July wedding at Saints Peter and Paul Church got widespread media coverage after the bride, groom, and at least eight of their guests — some of whom traveled from out of state — became infected with COVID. Though, to be fair, the wedding party and guests attended a rehearsal dinner at an Embarcadero restaurant and a backyard wedding reception in the East Bay that same weekend, so they were basically trying to spread coronavirus however they could.
The Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone has been outspoken in his disapproval of health orders, and it's been part and parcel of his asshole personality to exercise his right to whine in this historic moment.
"We're a sacramental church," he told a local news station in November, as SF's "Purple" tier status was once again shutting down indoor services. "You can't live stream holy communion."
Cordileone's comments came just days after the pope himself wrote an opinion piece published in the New York Times discussing the importance of recognizing the common good in a pandemic, despite the desire for collective worship.
One of the priests in the local Catholic community who's cut from the same cloth as Cordileone, Father Joseph Illo of Star of the Sea Church, wrote in a newsletter to congregants last summer "we are more concerned about 'safety' than sanctity [in this pandemic]," and he went on to try to dispel fear of the pandemic among his congregants — many of whom are no doubt elderly. Sounding like a paid commentator on Fox News, he said he knows "thousands of people" in the local community, but only three who had contracted COVID-19 at that point, and all of them were doing just fine.