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'Go home immediately': Paris priest fined after police bust secret Easter mass

by Premier Journalist

A French Catholic priest has been fined after violating the country's lockdown rules and holding an Easter mass.

Local residents were horrified when they heard music coming from the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church in Paris late Saturday night. When police arrived at the premises, they were astonished to find around 40 people worshipping inside the building.

The priest was subsequently fined for his illegal actions. 

A police source told The Daily Mail: "There were around 40 people inside, all celebrating Easter Sunday Mass in contravention of the lockdown.

"Police arrived and found the doors of the church shut but managed to get inside to break up the service, which was being conducted in Latin.

"Everybody was told to go home immediately, but the priest was later contacted and fined for breaking the rules.

"The first punishment for non-compliance with France's strict restrictions is currently the equivalent of around a £120.

"This rises to £330 if it is not paid within 45 days and persistent offenders face prison sentences of up to six months." 

France currently has over 136,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with just under 15,000 deaths.

In an address viewed by 36.7 million people on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron apologised to the nation for the country's sluggish response to the virus, saying that "mistakes were made." 

"Were we sufficiently prepared? Obviously not – no one is prepared for a crisis of this magnitude," Macron added.

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