News from Europe

Police enter a church and dissolve an “illegal” Mass in Austria

In the Austrian town of Imsterberg (Tyrol) ten Catholics gathered on Holy Thursday to participate in the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Police moved in, suspended the liturgical celebration and forced the faithful to leave the church.


The officers explained that someone had reported an illegal assembly, so they had to take legal action. In Austria, Masses can be celebrated but without the participation of the faithful. According to the latest data, there are 13,667 people infected with COVID-19 and 319 have died from it so far. 

The Catholic website argues that this is probably just the beginning of a larger wave of similar interventions. According to this source, some Austrian priests have declared that they will not close churches for Easter.

Despite the apparent necessity of taking safety measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the interruption by police officers of a Mass with merely ten people present, who were all standing far apart from each other, remains a questionable way of solving the problem.



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