MONCTON, New Brunswick (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian archbishop has barred Catholics who won’t take the COVID-19 jab from coming to Mass.
On Friday, Archbishop Valery Vienneau of Moncton, New Brunswick issued instructions that anyone over 12 who attends a religious gathering in a church in his archdiocese “must be doubly vaccinated” against COVID-19.
In a letter to Catholics in the Moncton Archdiocese, Vienneau wrote: “…beginning Wednesday Sep[tember] 22nd, at any gathering inside our churches, rectories or community centres under our supervision, those present must be doubly vaccinated.”
The archbishop stipulated that such gatherings include “…religious celebrations (Sunday and weekly masses, prayer meetings, baptisms, weddings and funerals, Confirmation, First Reconciliation, First Communion), parish and pastoral meetings, catechesis meetings, management meetings, conferences, workshops, fraternal and social meetings, bingos, card games, etc.”
Vienneau qualified that children under 12 are not required to take the jab to participate because they “cannot currently be vaccinated” against COVID-19.
Many people throughout the world are reluctant to take the COVID-19 jabs because of the thousands of deaths and millions of other injuries that have been recorded following inoculation. Many Catholics and other Christians also object to the medical products because cell-lines derived from one or more aborted babies were used in their protection or testing.
Meanwhile, Catholics normally have an obligation to attend Mass in person every Sunday and, in Canada, at Christmas and on New Year’s Day, unless they are ill, or caring for a sick child, or are physically impeded by travel from getting to Mass. Not fulfilling that obligation is considered a serious sin, and participating at Mass is considered central to the spiritual life of the faithful Catholic. Even Catholics who have incurred excommunication and thus cannot receive the sacraments are encouraged to take part in Sunday worship.
The impetus for banning “unvaccinated” Catholics from Mass came from the provincial government. The archbishop recounted that New Brunswick’s Minister of Health, Dorothy Shephard, had “met with religious leaders in the province following the announcement of new measures regarding the pandemic” and that, although there is no mandate for proof of vaccination at religious gatherings, Shephard “wishes to have gatherings of fully vaccinated people to keep people safe and to act as an incentive for the unvaccinated.”
Vienneau did say that parents who come to their child’s “First Reconciliation” (that is, First Confession) will be required to take the shot but did not stipulate that the faithful must be double-jabbed in order to receive the Sacrament of Penance themselves.
Over the next few weeks, the archbishop has instructed that “several volunteers are expected to be at the doors of each church to ask worshippers for full proof of vaccination and collect their names on a list of fully vaccinated people.” After parishioners have been added to the list, they will not have to provide proof after the fact. However, any new parishioner or visitor will be required to provide proof of vaccination.
Presumably regarding funerals, Vienneau said that “funeral home staff” should be informed that “family members and loved ones who come to church are to be doubly vaccinated.” He also said that he was informed by the Minister of Health that only those with “rare” medical exemptions will be admitted to a church facility without proof of vaccination.
Employees of the archdiocese are allowed to keep their jobs if they are not vaccinated, but they are required to wear a mask and undergo frequent testing for COVID.
New Brunswick announced on September 15 that province will be implementing new vaccine-passport restrictions tomorrow, September 21. According to the official announcement, people will need to show proof of vaccination whenever they access certain services, businesses and events, including:
- indoor festivals, performing arts and sporting events;
- indoor and outdoor dining and drinking at restaurants, pubs and bars;
- movie theatres, nightclubs, amusement centres, pool halls, bowling alleys and casinos;
- gyms, indoor pools and indoor recreation facilities;
- indoor group exercise facilities;
- indoor organized gatherings including weddings, funerals, parties (excluding parties in a private dwelling), conferences and workshops;
- indoor organized group recreational sports, classes and activities; and
- visiting a long-term care facility.
The province’s guidelines do not direct that residents of New Brunswick will have to provide proof of vaccination in order to attend religious services apart from weddings and funerals.
LifeSiteNews has reached out to the Archdiocese for comment but has not yet received a response.
To make your views respectfully and prayerfully known, please contact:
The Most Reverend Valery Vienneau
Archbishop of Moncton
224 St George St.
Tel: (506) 857-9531
c/o Annette LeBlanc, secretary to His Excellency: [email protected]