The Council of State said it was giving Prime Minister Jean Castex three days to change the rules, as the limit of 30 set to combat the coronavirus was not sufficient to allow the faithful to attend services when they wanted.
Catholic associations had filed a complaint with the body on Friday describing the government measures as “unnecessary, disproportionate and discriminatory”.
Their lawyers had argued that the latest coronavirus rules in France –which on Saturday saw non-essential businesses allowed to open — meant that in the run-up to Christmas a superstore could host hundreds of people but a cathedral could admit only a handful of believers.
People attend a service at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, November 29, 2020: ALAIN JOCARD / AFP
France's Council of Bishops (CEF) applauded the ruling, saying “common sense has been recognised” while expressing the hope that “resorting to justice should be the exception in the dialogue with the authorities in our country”.
Its representatives were due to meet Prime Minister Jean Castex later on Sunday to discuss the next steps