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Diocese of Madison demands equal treatment from county and city officials
Wednesday, Jun. 03, 2020 -- 12:00 AM
St. Maria Goretti Mass
A recent Mass celebrated at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison. (Contributed photo)

WASHINGTON -- Global law firms Sidley Austin and Troutman Sanders, along with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, sent a letter June 3 to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison explaining that the City and County's May 22 public health order that capped in-person worship at just 50 people is discriminatory and targets the Catholic Church for selective enforcement.

Under the order, shopping malls, bars, restaurants, spas, gyms, salons, museums, movie theaters, community centers, bowling alleys, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and more are not subject to the 50-person cap. Madison's mayor has also announced that public protests are not subject to government restrictions at all. Madison/Dane County threatened to send government officials to Catholic Masses to find out how many people are there and impose $1000 fines if too many people came to church. The letter explains that Madison/Dane County's actions violate the First Amendment and the Wisconsin Constitution.

After Madison/Dane County officials released the "Forward Dane" executive order on May 18 which listed houses of worship as "essential services" thus allowing them to resume in-person services at 25 percent capacity, the Diocese of Madison quickly put together a plan for safely reopening with rigorous social distancing and hygiene protocols developed in accordance with CDC and WHO guidelines.

But after the Diocese announced its careful plan, in an abrupt and inexplicable reversal, the City of Madison/Dane County added a brand-new restriction on houses of worship, limiting them to just 50 people at each religious service regardless of the size of the building. This means that some churches are held to as low as 5% capacity while trampoline parks, movie theaters and virtually all other entities can operate to at least 25%.

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Diocese launches ‘Go Make Disciples’
Written by John Joy, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, May. 28, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison, under the leadership of Bishop Donald J. Hying, is launching a bold new initiative called "Go Make Disciples" in order to renew our commitment to the mission of evangelization.

One part of this initiative includes the addition of two new regular pages in the Catholic Herald, one dedicated to evangelization and another to catechesis (see Pages 10 and 11).

Go make disciples

The last words Jesus spoke to his apostles before leaving this earth to ascend into heaven were to go out into the whole world and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).

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Mission to evangelize world is more urgent
Written by Bishop Donald J. Hying   
Thursday, May. 28, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

Note: Bishop Donald J. Hying is serializing his Pastoral Letter on the new Evangelization Initiative being launched in the Diocese of Madison. This is the first part of that letter.

Jesus Christ died for you. For you, the person receiving these words, God -- the Eternal Creator -- became a human being, entered into the messiness of humanity, lived, worked, loved, and prayed with those around him, and at the end of a young life, was unjustly condemned, cruelly tortured, and died as a criminal on a cross.

He did it for you.

Stop, even just for a second, and actually consider that.

You've likely heard it before -- maybe even a hundred or a thousand times -- but reconsider it; try to internalize it anew.

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