Statement by AG Racine on Settlement with Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine issued the following statement on today’s settlement with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington (the Archdiocese). Under the terms of the settlement, the Archdiocese will abide by the Mayor’s December 16th order, which set attendance limits at indoor worship services to allow 250 people or 25% of a church’s capacity (whichever is less). As it has with other public health orders, the District will provide advance notice of any changes to current restrictions on worship services required by evolving public health conditions.  

“We are pleased that we were able to reach this agreement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, and that the church’s concerns were resolved by the Mayor’s latest order. As with other Mayoral orders, if changes are needed to better protect public health, those affected will be notified in advance.  

“I am proud that D.C. residents have overwhelmingly embraced science-based commonsense measures to protect our personal safety and that of our neighbors. By wearing masks, frequently washing our hands, and limiting contact with others, the District has maintained a lower COVID-19 case rate than many states—though we have recently seen cases rising.

“While some churches may now allow up to 250 worshippers to attend services, I strongly encourage residents to continue following the guidance of medical and public health experts and help stop the spread of COVID-19: stay home whenever possible and avoid spending time indoors with people outside your household.

“It is my hope that District residents will continue to support and keep each other safe through this difficult and unprecedented time, and that we have a peaceful, healthy, and safe holiday season.”