Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Judge rejects interdict against House fasting, prayer decree

By on February 23, 2017

SAN JUAN – Superior Court Judge Ángel Pagán denied Thursday a provisional request filed by the Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico organization to stop the fasting decree established by House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez.

However, Pagán convened both parties to a public hearing scheduled for March 3 to evaluate the matter.

Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos "Johnny" Méndez (Felipe Torres/CB)

Puerto Rico House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez alleged his fasting and prayer decree doesn’t breach the constitutional clause that advocates separation from church and state. (Felipe Torres/CB)

The organization filed the complaint Wednesday, claiming that the House of Representatives is in violation of the constitutional clause that calls for separation of church and state. The clause’s objective is for the state not to promote religion in order to protect the rights of citizens regardless if they practice or not a religion.

Méndez announced that the fasting and prayer Decree will begin Feb. 27 and will last 40 days as part of celebrating Holy Week. The House speaker believes the decree doesn’t go against either the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The government cannot spend any public funds on the establishment nor prohibit the practice of any religion.

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