Governor Edwards responds after Supreme Court rejects petition from Pastor Tony Spell for violating ban on large gatherings

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) The U.S. Supreme Court late Friday rejected a petition from Louisiana Pastor Tony Spell after he sought emergency relief from criminal charges he faced for holding services in violation of large-gathering restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

In wake of the announcement, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday issued a statement which reads as follows:  

“Throughout the course of this pandemic, I have let science and data inform the many difficult decisions I have made regarding gathering sizes and other mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID. 

“I have taken no such decisions lightly. The reasonable, legal mitigation measures have been necessary to protect the people of Louisiana from unchecked spread of the coronavirus, which would limit hospitals’ ability to deliver care. I am thankful that the United States Supreme Court denied this effort to overturn these mitigation efforts.  

“For months I have spoken and prayed with leaders of many faiths as we have navigated this pandemic together. I know how difficult this time has been for them and I am deeply appreciative of their commitment to practice their faiths even under trying circumstances and with the health of their congregations in mind.

“As Pope Francis wrote of COVID this week: ‘Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.’

“My own faith teaches me that our actions have an impact on others, that we truly are in this together, in 1 Corinthians 12: “There are many parts, yet one body” and “If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.” I have faith that the people of Louisiana will continue to care for one another by slowing the spread of this terrible illness.”

Read the petition, here

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