Minnesota archdiocese defies state's coronavirus limits on religious gatherings

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

In defiance of limits on religious gatherings, Minnesota's Catholic Church said Wednesday it will not comply with the state mandate.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said in a letter that its decision was based on Gov. Tim Walz's lifting of the state's stay-at-home order. Like in other states, the requirement limits worship services to no more than 10 people to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

TEXAS CHURCH CLOSES AFTER PRIEST DIES, MEMBERS GET CORONAVIRUS

"The bishops of Minnesota are united in our conviction that we can safely resume public Masses in accordance with both our religious duties and with accepted public health and safety standards," the letter read.

"We can worship in a way that reflects both the love of God and the love of our neighbors," it continued. "Therefore, we are giving our parishes permission for the resumption of the public celebration of Mass on Tuesday, May 26, which will give us time to be ready for the celebration of Pentecost on May 31."

The archdiocese said parishes will be required to adhere to sanitation measures and social distancing protocols, and will limit attendance to one-third of a church's seating capacity.

"We are blessed to live in a nation that guarantees the free exercise of religion. This right can only be abridged for a compelling governmental interest, and only in a way that is narrowly tailored to be the least restrictive means of achieving the desired end," the archdiocese said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

"That is why a large majority of states now allow in-person religious services, including many states that had previously suspended in-person religious services," it added.

Minnesota recorded 17,670 COVID-19 cases and nearly 780 deaths, according to the state's Department of Health.