Home Moral guidelines Canadian Archbishop: Only fully vaccinated people can attend Mass

Canadian Archbishop: Only fully vaccinated people can attend Mass

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Anyone 12 years of age or older who attends a gathering in Catholic churches, parsonages or community centers under the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Moncton must show proof of being fully vaccinated, the Archdiocese said on Friday. .

The new policy applies to all religious celebrations, Sunday and weekday masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals, parish and pastoral meetings, catechesis and social gatherings.

The archdiocese’s announcement comes on the heels of new provincial government rules due to go into effect on Tuesday requiring proof of vaccination to access certain events, services and businesses. Fewer than 50 people have died from COVID-19 in the province of New Brunswick since the start of the pandemic, out of a total population of more than 780,000, according to government statistics. But provincial officials say they are concerned about a recent increase in cases and hospitalizations.

New Brunswick rules apply to persons 12 years of age and over who wish to attend “indoor gatherings,” including weddings, funerals, conferences, workshops and parties, at the except for holidays in private accommodation.

Other events requiring such proof include indoor festivals, performing arts and sporting events; cinemas, discotheques, bowling alleys and casinos; gymnasiums, indoor swimming pools and indoor leisure facilities; and eat and drink indoors and outdoors in restaurants. Proof of vaccination is also required to visit a long-term care facility.

Events, businesses, and services must have proof of vaccination and government-issued ID of all attendees and clients aged 12 and over. People requesting a medical exemption must present proof. Failure to follow the rules can result in a fine for amounts between $ 172 and $ 772 Canadian, or approximately $ 135 to $ 605.

There have been 48 Covid-19-related deaths in New Brunswick out of some 3,200 total cases since the start of the epidemic. However, there are now some 370 active cases, higher than its previous peak of 348 on January 25, CBC News reports. The province recently witnessed its largest single-day report of new COVID cases, when active cases jumped 63.

About 17 people in the province are currently hospitalized, including 10 in intensive care.

“As we are in the fourth wave of the pandemic, it is imperative that we do what is necessary to protect our residents while living with the reality that the virus is still with us,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. The Prime Minister eased COVID restrictions on July 30.

“These changes are necessary to ensure our province is able to stay green and avoid the bottlenecks, which we know are damaging to businesses and people’s mental health. We must also avoid overloading our health care system. The vaccine is an effective tool that can help us fight this virus, but more people need to be vaccinated to give us all better protection.

Dorothy Shephard, the provincial health minister, met with religious leaders after the new rules were announced on September 15, Archbishop Valery Vienneau of Moncton said on September 17.

“While explaining the new guidelines, she said they had only one goal: to increase the rate of fully vaccinated people in the province,” the archbishop said in a statement.

“We ask you to implement these new measures in each of your Christian communities not only to respect the government’s request but above all to help stop the spread of the virus within our population. We would not want one of our places of worship to be the site of exposure to COVID due to our negligence, ”said Bishop Vienneau. “The Minister of Health is counting on our cooperation.

The archbishop said volunteers should be at the church gates asking participants for full proof of vaccination and collecting their names. This list can be reused every Sunday to avoid repeated requests for proof of vaccination from recurring visitors.

“This list could possibly be requested by the government,” noted the archbishop.

The rules apply to everyone present, except those under 12 who cannot be vaccinated.

The only other possible exception to this warrant is for someone with proof of medical exemption, which is rare. Parish employees who do not get vaccinated must wear a mask at all times and take a COVID test periodically. Any visitor to the parish office may be asked to wear a mask if they are not vaccinated.

Health officials fear that those vaccinated could still transmit the virus to vulnerable groups, such as children too young to be vaccinated. Some 80% of the new positive coronavirus cases in the province are among the unvaccinated. Over 77.5% of New Brunswick residents were fully immunized, while over 86% received at least one dose. The population of the province is over 750,000 people, about half of whom are Catholics.

The government is aiming for a vaccination rate of around 90% and the health minister aims to allow gatherings only of fully vaccinated people “to ensure the safety of people and to encourage the unvaccinated,” the archbishop said. A return to previous measures like masking and social distancing is not encouraged for this reason, he reported.

Under the new rules, anyone entering New Brunswick will need to register with health authorities. Those who are not fully vaccinated should self-isolate for 14 days or wait for a negative test 10 days after the start of their stay.

A provincial bill to remove religious and philosophical exemptions from compulsory vaccinations for schoolchildren narrowly failed last year and could be reintroduced.

Vaccination mandates have sparked debates among Catholics over conscience exemption, the risks and benefits of available COVID-19 vaccines, and the ethics and legality of vaccination mandates imposed by governments and employers, including including some American Catholic dioceses.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has stated that “vaccination is not, as a general rule, a moral obligation” and therefore “must be voluntary”. In his note from December 2020, he said that the morality of vaccination depends on both the duty to pursue the common good and the duty to protect one’s own health, and that “in the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination.

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