NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A federal judge has refused to block an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo strictly limiting the number of people in houses of worship in communities with surging coronavirus cases.

The judge made his decision in a suit brought by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

MORE: Diocese Of Brooklyn Takes Gov. Cuomo To Court Over Second Coronavirus Shutdown Order

He said while the restrictions hurt religious groups, it’s not in the public interest to block them if they’re helping prevent a wave of new infections.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio responded in a statement that read in part, “The Diocese of Brooklyn is extremely disappointed by today’s ruling, as we believe we presented a strong case in support of our right to worship. It is a shame our parishioners in the red zones cannot return to Mass when the judge acknowledged we have done everything right. We are now considering our appellate options.”

The ruling doesn’t end the Diocese’s lawsuit, but it denies the church’s request for a temporary injunction.

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