The “hostile cauldron” in Elmer, Ontario bubbled, and the judge carefully considered the doors of the church to fight the pandemic

The congregation of a small town’s contempt for the COVID-19 public health order and the community’s surveillance of parishioners created a toxic environment. On Friday, when a judge decided whether to lock the door of the Church of God in Elmer, Ontario, This environment will reach its peak.

Despite the court’s order to stop meeting the COVID-19 restrictions, the church, Pastor Henry Hildenbrandt and Assistant Pastor Patrick Wall were tempted by the court for continuing to provide personal services.

Justice Bruce Thomas of the Supreme Court of Ontario must now decide what penalty (if any) to impose.

Thomas told the virtual court on Thursday: “This incident has turned a small community in Ontario into a cauldron of hostility and brought conflicts between neighbors and neighboring countries. I am deeply concerned about Aylmer’s toxic environment.”

“Although this congregation and these people are different from the mainstream population in southwestern Ontario, they used to live a peaceful and peaceful life in this community. Now, I see a broken community, a fragile community.”

The town church is one of the few organizations in Canada that has challenged the constitutionality of public health orders prohibiting assemblies (including church services). These will be heard in October.

Locking the doors of Canadian churches is a terrible symbol of the threat to our democracy.-Lisa Bildy, lawyer at the church, Elmer, Ontario

When the pandemic started last year, churches in southwestern Ontario held door-to-door service, which is prohibited by provincial law, and then gradually escalated to a gathering of 200 people in the building, with no distance between people or wearing masks.

Hildebrandt’s sermons, in front of the conference, are available on YouTube and Facebook, as shown in the picture below. (Aylmer/YouTube’s Church of God)

The Aylmer police repeatedly sold tickets to the church and its priests and parishioners. Lisa Bildy, a lawyer at the Constitutional Liberty Justice Center, which represents the church, believes that all external doors were physically locked too tightly, as required by the royal family.

She said: “Locking the doors of Canadian churches is a terrible symbol of the threat to our democracy.” “It took two weeks to flatten the curve. It has been more than 60 weeks now. There has been no outbreak in the church yet. …I don’t think we should lock the doors of churches in this country. The church is very important to these people.”

Further fines are welcome

Many church members come from the Mennonite tradition, speak Low German (multiple languages ??or dialects), and wear plain clothes to show that the church is a way of life for them, not just attending on Bildi on Sunday Said the activity.

they [Church of God] Contempt of laws and public health orders. Locking the door is the only way to ensure that they will not enter the building.-Royal Attorney Connie Vernon (Connie Vernon)

She said: “Pastor Hildebrandt did not show resistance. He did not become a leader in the movement. He wants the parishioners to have some communities.”

Billy said that he has now assumed a nominal role.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hildebrandt has launched a “no more lockdown” campaign, which included a rally of 2,000 people in the small town against COVID-19 restrictions. He has declared that the virus does not exist and has encouraged people to flout the provincial lockdown rules. In front of the conference, his sermons can be found on YouTube and Facebook.

Royal Attorney Connie Vernon stated in the argument in court that the church and its pastor are “committed to openly and continuously disregarding public health measures.”

She said: “They made it clear that they plan to violate any court order, encourage civil disobedience, and encourage others to come to church.”

“very clear [Hildebrandt] Further fines are welcome and the church will continue to be opened. They ignore laws and public health orders. Locking the door is the only way to ensure that they will not enter the building. There is no sign that they will stop inviting people to join. ”

Official hope:

  • All exterior doors will be locked until there are no more public health orders.
  • For Hildebrandt and his assistant pastor, each will be fined $10,000.
  • The church will be fined $50,000.
  • Pay $100,000 in court fees for the church.

Bildy argued that court fees were too high and monetary penalties were too high. If the door is locked, the priest should be allowed to enter the building for inspection from time to time, and it should be unlocked when the sanitation order is less restrictive.

Hundreds of people stood beside the main street in Aylmer, Ontario, before rallies and marches to protest against public health measures. (Kate Dubinski/CBC)

Thomas said he will make a decision on Thursday, but added that he does not see Hildebrandt as a passive role in the movement against public health orders.

Thomas said: “He chose his current role. He chose to act as a spokesperson for the infringement.”

“He uses the forum as a forum to follow his example to others. It is not about God’s word, but also about his worries about exhorting others to violate the rules and regulations. He was chosen as the face, the front and center of the movement.”

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