CHICAGO (CBS) — People heading to Philadelphia Romanian Church in Ravenswood on Sunday might have a hard time finding a parking spot.
Ald. Matt Martin (47th) said no-parking signs have been put up for several surrounding blocks near the church at 1713 W. Sunnyside Ave. The signs have been mounted on Sunnyside Avenue between Greenview and Ravenswood avenues, and Paulina Street between Lawrence and Berteau avenues, Martin’s office said.
The parking ban is in effect from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, according to Martin’s office.
Martin said the signs were put up at the direction of the Mayor’s office, in response to plans by the church to hold one or more religious services – in violation of the stay-at-home order for the coronavirus pandemic.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Florin T. Cimpean, took aim at Mayor Lori Lightfoot in response to the parking ban.
“The police called me to inform us that they were asked by the mayor to put up the signs. It is completely ridiculous,” Cimpean said in the statement. “The mayor is inciting hate against the church which is very sad. A lot of our members risked their lives to escape Communism, only to find it germinating in 2020 under mayor Lightfoot in Chicago.”
Cimpean continued: “We prayed for the mayor and the governor almost every evening since March 19. We will continue to pray for them. Yet, we are also aware of our constitutional rights. Their effort to intimidate us will make us stronger.”