Skip to main content

Gov. Tim Walz, health officials to meet with church leaders who are set to defy order

The governor is keeping indoor church services closed for now, prompting anger from Christian leaders.

Governor Tim Walz has said he will be meeting with church leaders who on Wednesday announced their plans to defy his latest guidance for coronavirus by reopening for services sooner than the state thinks is safe.

The Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul and Minnesota's other six dioceses have said churches have the option of reopening for Mass starting May 26, with the Minnesota Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod following suit shortly after by saying services can resume May 31.

Earlier in the day, Walz announced "Phase II" of reopening that will allow salons to serve customers and restaurants/bars to offer outdoor dining, but kept restrictions in place for churches, which limits them to gatherings of no more than 10 people indoors or outdoors.

Walz admitted himself that there was no "perfect answer" on this, noting that even when churches reopen there might be restrictions on things like singing following anecdotal evidence of outbreaks of the coronavirus among choirs.

And while he has already faced pushback over the shutdowns from bars and restaurants, particularly in greater Minnesota, Walz is now finding himself up against the Catholic church and the second largest branch of the Lutheran church in the state.

He will be meeting with the Archdiocese this week along with officials from the Minnesota Department of Health. It's not clear yet if he will meet with the Missouri-Synod.

His spokesman Teddy Tschann said that the governor "remains in routine communication with faith leaders across the state and understands the toll this pandemic is taking on the spiritual health of Minnesotans."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The governor's decision has faced criticism from Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, who has regularly criticized the speed at which the state is being reopened despite coronavirus cases and deaths not having yet peaked.

"We have flattened the curve and we have prepared our hospitals and clinics with PPE and ventilators," he said Wednesday.

"We have to allow people to get back to their lives. If you can get a haircut, shop at a mall, or eat at a restaurant, you should be able to go to church."

Next Up


Police: Teens 'careen recklessly' in stolen BMW, Mercedes in north metro

They ended up crashing the stolen vehicles, with two arrested and two others on the run.

fire truck

Fire table sparks blaze at Edina home

The fire remains under investigation, but fire officials believe it was accidental.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: California woman embezzled over $1M from MN employer

Mai Xiong faces several federal charges in the case.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Shot woman who sparked appeal found injured at Twin Cities hotel

Authorities began searching for Hsa Say early Monday morning.


Development may bring changes to Stonebrooke Golf Club in 2023

The popular southwest metro golf course offers scenic views of O'Dowd Lake.


Homeowners alert DNR to grouse hunting complaints in Northland

Some hunters are allegedly shooting directly in front of houses.


Charges: Teen couple tortured children while babysitting in St. Paul

A doctor called this "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."


New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.


Archbishop Bernard Hebda

Defying order, Catholic leaders say reopening for services is legal

The diocese will allow churches to resume in-person mass next week.

St paul cathedral

Catholic, some Lutheran leaders will NOT comply with Gov Walz order

They have announced plans to resume services in a limited capacity.

Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz signs 2 more executive orders

One will allow Minnesotans to get out-of-state mental health treatment.


Watch live: Church leaders address reopening against Walz order

In a letter to partner churches, Catholic leaders said Mass can resume at one-third capacity.

Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz announces latest 2 executive orders

One of them is required due to the sudden demand for septic tank servicing.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz extends Stay at Home order till May 18, with changes

The governor confirmed the order's extension during his Thursday press conference.