Priests with whom I live have blessed the sick and dying in hospitals and nursing homes. We have also celebrated virtual Masses and prayer services for countless of the faithful.

The churches in my area have been open for individual prayer, Benediction services and Stations of the Cross, and social distancing is strongly encouraged. Priests have even paraded in processions in neighborhoods with the Blessed Sacrament in order to bring elements of the church service out to the faithful. Similarly, rabbis and imams whom I know have been doing the equivalent with their respective religious congregations. That is all “religious service.”

What most of us have not done is put ourselves and our parishioners in danger by gathering in large groups for Mass or other religious services “as usual.” That would have been — and would continue to be, in this time of contagion — irresponsible and sinful. It would also violate the right to life of many. Yes, responsible action with regard to religious organizations during this pandemic is a right-to-life issue. This is a right that needs to apply to those who live after birth, too.