Priest at California church that flouted COVID-19 health orders dies of the virus

North Beach San Francisco
Posted at 1:52 PM, Feb 19, 2021

A Catholic church in San Francisco that made headlines last year for flouting COVID-19 restrictions is mourning the loss of one of their priests to the virus.

Rev. Bob Stein passed away this week, according to Saints Peter & Paul Church’s website.Rev. Stein was one of three priests and three staff members at the church to contract COVID-19 this month.

The church shifted to online daily worship services only a few weeks ago, when Rev. Stein and the others tested positive for COVID-19.

“On Friday Fr. Al, Fr. Armand, and Fr. Bob tested positive for Covid, so until further notice, all Masses will streamed ONLY (sic),” the bulletin for February 7 stated, referring to their three priests.

Saints Peter & Paul Church received warnings from officials last year for holding ceremonies and events that violated the city and state’s pandemic safety measures, including social distancing and limiting the size of gatherings.

In July 2020, ten people, including the bride and groom, contracted COVID-19 at a wedding attended by about 100 people.

They had attempted to get married inside the church, but on the day of the event, a representative from the city intercepted guests as they arrived and told them to hold the ceremony outside. The representative reminded them there was currently an order that limited gatherings to about a dozen people.

Currently, places of worship in the San Francisco area can hold indoor services at 25% capacity, and face coverings are required.