This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once again used his executive authority, this time to loosen restrictions on religious mass gatherings.  Up until this week, church services were considered non-essential because of the fear of spreading the coronavirus. Now, the Governor says religious services with 10 or fewer people are acceptable in the phase one re-opening, as long as social distancing and the wearing of PPE are followed.

Recently, some local churches have decided to ignore the Governor's order against religious gatherings and decided to hold church service with people inside the church.  The recent order by Cuomo, will make it acceptable under NYS PAUSE policy to hold a church service within the confines of the latest order. This week, Catholic priest, Father Joe Salerno of Lady of Lourdes church in South Utica told WIBX, he feels that the government is not impeding religious freedom. Instead, he said there's a responsibility of religious leaders to protect their parishioners from the pandemic.

Watch the complete interview below.

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