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Security guards escort parishioner out of church for not wearing a mask


WESTCLIFFE, Colo. (KRDO) --  Imagine attending a church mass when suddenly armed security guards enter the building to remove people who aren't wearing masks.

Witnesses said it happened in Custer County and that their religious freedoms were violated.

On Monday, a sign was placed on the steps leading to the doors of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Westcliffe. It was put on display by parishioners after a shake-up at Sunday's mass.

"There would not be mass if we had people who refused to wear masks," said Carol Kennedy, who was at mass that Sunday. She said that's what the congregation was told by church leadership before two armed security guards entered and asked one person to leave.

Fred Hernandez said he was right next to the person who was asked to leave.

"They told him to put on the mask and he said, 'Why? Who are you?' And they said, 'we are security,' and at that point, he realized there was going to be a problem. Very wisely he said please let's go outside," Hernandez said. He and others said they couldn't believe what they'd witnessed.

"That was wrong," Hernandez said. "That was totally wrong, very badly handled and there is absolutely no excuse for it."

"Having people escorted out of the church by armed security people because they are not wearing a mask is inappropriate," Kennedy said.

The security guards were hired by former Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino who runs a security firm and provides services for the Diocese of Pueblo. He said his firm got a call the week before from leaders of the diocese because too many people at the Westcliffe church were not wearing masks. Something church leaders had warned the congregation about.

"Subsequently that was not followed," Corsentino said. "There was non-compliance by many parishioners from what we were told."

Corsentino said there was no altercation, but his workers did ask people to leave.

Even though they have been told this was done for their safety and for those who are concerned about the spread of COVID-19, some parishioners believe it was done with other motives.

"They are doing this because they are trying to follow the orders of the Governor," Hernandez said. "It's a question of control."

"They are not doing it for my protection," said Terry Napolitan, another member of the church. "I'm an adult I can make the decisions on what's best for me and my family."

Parishioners tell us they have sent a letter to the bishop of the Pueblo Diocese who implemented the new rule and are waiting for a response.

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.



  1. How very religious of them for not wearing a mask. I guess the part about being kind to others means they can the right to make them sick or kill them. Very religious. Gotta love these #Karens that won’t wear a mask then try to cry they are religious. Great job.

    1. If masks did anything other than inflate people’s sense of moral superiority, you might have point. Back in reality, it is obvious to anyone who can think for themselves that masks do nothing to stop the spread of the virus.

      1. That’s not what medical evidence shows. If you can’t understand the evidence, please talk to someone who can explain it to you. We still can’t afford to have people not wear masks because they think it’s a political statement rather than a medical necessity.

      2. Yes all those countries in Europe that started out without mask policies that find themselves now in lockdown and mask policies did it to fuel your delusional ideas and not because of a virus spreading out of control.

  2. Looks like the Mask Nazi’s were out in full force. Amazing how the big democrat run cities want to open up for business now since Biden stole the election. Looks like masks weren’t the cure for covid, a stolen election was.

    1. No one ever claimed that masks would cure Covid so you’re proving your lack of smartness once again.
      Masks help reduce the spread of the virus by minimizing the number of viruses being breathed into the immediate area by infected people, including people who don’t know they’re infected. Vaccinations are what can actually cut down infections and eventually help our country reach “herd immunity” when the majority of people are no longer susceptible to the virus.
      And I’ve already explained to you that the election was not stolen by Biden. Trump attempted to steal it, but his baseless claims were rejected by every level of court in the country. Really smart people understand that our election system actually works, and recognize the facts instead of creating conspiracy theories in attempts to explain around them.

    2. Tell us how that was done. How does one steal an election? The checks and balances within our system worked. If you don’t like the results then the great part about our system is that you can try again in 4 years. Now put on your big boy pants and wipe away the tears. The men in white coats will be there soon.

  3. Chase,
    I hope you will consider asking KRDO management to become involved in helping the community start a healthy discussion about individual freedom and public well-being.
    There is a very dangerous lack of education that is tearing at the fabric of our common society. As a public information source, KRDO is well positioned to get this discussion on the lips of enough people to educate us all about individual freedom and public well-being in this and other aspects of our common life in this country.


    1. Lack of education you say. No education is just fine you can lead these people to knowledge but you can not make them think. You can’t argue or debate with these people. To them it is a religion and down that path lies madness.

  4. I’m sure the church waited until the collection plate had made the rounds, then escorted him out.

  5. Epidemiologists are saying it’s a good idea to wear a mask. Not much is known about this novel coronavirus. It won’t hurt you to wear a mask. The pandemic is a public health problem, not a political one. Use your brain, listen to what public health experts have to say, not what some clown politician like Trump or his behind kissing political acquaintances have to say. Keep in mind that Trump was in favor of having people die for the economy. Having more people die than necessary makes no sense. It’s better to choose Dr. Fauci’s recommendations over what some ignorant clown like COVID Donnie the Con says. 😷

    1. Tiuck Frump. And Buck Fiden. Are you really that much of a partisan a$$hat that you think one side has the truth?
      Why would you trust either one? IMHO you’re part of the problem if you think Joey will make things right. Donny didn’t. SMDH

  6. It’s time for these Catholics to be ex Catholics just like Martin Luther, the ex Catholic who started the Protestant reformation.

    Get out of the Catholic cult, and free yourself from the oppression and arbitrary Govt mandated mask wearing bullish!t.

  7. I cannot believe that you are giving this air time of any kind. There is no question here of violation of U. S. Constitutional rights to freedom of religion. It is the right of the Diocese to set rules for their church and to enforce them. Armed guards may seem egregious, but there has been more than one security guard murdered by people who refused to wear masks as a matter of public health and safety. Airing this seems to continue the validation of misconstrued laws and rights as they are misunderstood by people who appear to be motivated by their own personal point of view and not in support of their community or healthcare workers. I also do not understand why people who are not part of the medical community or public safety feel that they are qualified to make statements that contradict those who are. Perhaps these people should be pulling double shifts for months on end at their local hospital. I completely agree with Palmer_W, that this is fertile ground for discussion and education. Wishing everyone a happy new year.

  8. ahh corsentino running amuck with his other democratic buddies…. krdo loves this guy…I wonder if he offers their reporters jobs in return for sex like he does everyone else??? Or maybe as many pills as he can get his hands on… Krdo, stay classy keep supporting this pedophiles company

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