Priest calls police on man who wasn’t wearing mask at church for medical reasons
June 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, I bring you a story from a church in Ottawa that’s dictating COVID policies, going so far as to not allow exemptions for people who have real medical conditions that require them to not wear a mask. Nick Lusito, a Catholic layman in the Diocese of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, told me his story of encountering these dictates at St. Patrick’s Basilica.
One Sunday, Lusito and his wife were visiting the church, which is not their parish. He did not put on a mask, since he is legally exempted because of health conditions. After being confronted by one of the employees of the basilica and being asked to leave, Lusito decided to continue to pray as the church worker called for a priest.
He describes how “one of the priests at the parish came up … and … very rudely asked me to leave as well.” Fr. Stephen Amesse, associate rector of the church, then called the police. Lusito tried to tell both the employee, the priest, and the first police officer that came that he wanted to complete his prayers without interruption, but to no avail.
After a while, more officers arrived at the church, and out of respect for the parishioners who were there for Mass, which was beginning soon, Lusito went outside with the police. His wife filmed everything on her phone. At the end of the discussion, a policeman told him, “we don’t really have anything to charge you with,” and they went home.
Lusito eventually sent an email to the bishop complaining about this terrible experience, for which he received a polite apology. However, Lusito says that the priest “superseded the bylaw” allowing for medical exemptions for mask usage. Lusito is now considering legal action so it will not happen again.
I would like to encourage you to make known your views about this to the rector of St. Peter’s Basilica, Msgr. Kevin Beach. You can direct your polite comments to the phone number of the church here: 613-233-1125.
When priests and shepherds are discriminating against their own faithful just because they won’t abide by authoritarian mandates, it is very important that we stand and support faithful Catholics.
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