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Father Robert Sirico is the President of the Acton Institute and Pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Father Sirico joins Ben Domenech on another edition of The Federalist Radio Hour to discuss faith during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
Father Sirico explained his views on Michigan churches in relationship to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s intense lockdown orders and why he believes lockdowns are so strict on religious institutions because religion is losing its place in culture.
“Well I think this is a widening gap. You know, all the numbers we have from the last decade or so indicate there’s a higher percentage of people who are the ‘nones,’ the people who don’t have a religious affiliation,” Father Sirico said. “So our culture, our schedules are different. What you do with a Sunday — there’s a section that appears in the New York Times, usually, it’s a profile of somebody, what they’re doing on their Sunday. It’s just amazing how many people have no reference to church and religion anymore.”
He also discussed what it’s like to hold a church service during the COVID-19 pandemic and how Whitmer’s one-size-fits-all response does not look to be the best model for the state.
“I find, in my own parish, that people are very sensible. They don’t want to endanger anyone else or endanger themselves. There are various people that have different sensitivities, going to their particular circumstances. And all of this diversity is what points to, in my mind, the necessity that decisions should not be centralized,” Father Sirico said. “The Governor should not be issuing an edict that applies equally to Grand Rapids and Detroit. These are two very different circumstances.”