Pastor Will Pay Fine, If Necessary, For Holding Services

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Mayor Lightfoot on Monday said she will be fining churches that violated the city’s social-distancing guidelines over the weekend.

The pastor of the Philadelphia Romanian Church in Ravenswood, Florin Cimpean, said there were about 70 people in the sanctuary, which has seating for 1,100.

The church offered sanitizer and masks, he said, adding the church is “a spiritual hospital.” If Mayor Lightfoot fines his church, then he will pay the fine, he said.

“I’m happy she’s not arresting us.”

Pastor Cimpean says he still hasn’t decided if he’ll hold services this next Sunday.

But he says he felt “completely safe” this past weekend.

In comparison, he said, he went to the grocery store recently and did not feel safe. 

Pastor Cimpean wants to know why the city barred street parking in front of the church.

He says the church has a parking lot.  And he thinks the city is trying to turn the neighbors against the church.

“We’ll give her the money, I guess, if she needs it," Cimpean said of potential fines from Lightfoot. "Probably she needs it now because she shut down everything. So, probably she needs the money from churches now. People are offering all over the nation to pay the fine for us.”