BERLIN (LifeSiteNews) — The Archdiocese of Berlin will effectively segregate vaccinated and unvaccinated faithful during Advent and Christmastime.
The archdiocese issued the harsh restrictions in a communiqué published Friday on its official website, announcing that from November 27 onward, the so-called 2G rule will apply to most Masses and church services of the diocese throughout Advent and Christmastime.
The 2G rule allows only people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recently recovered from the disease to attend all church services. The faithful will have to show proof of vaccination or immunization upon entry.
According to the communiqué, the decision was taken in view of the “sharply increasing numbers of COVID cases” in Germany.
People under 18 are exempt from the rule, as are those who are able to provide proof of a medical exemption from the COVID vaccine, which is difficult to obtain in Germany. In any case, these people will have to show a negative COVID test upon entering.
Masses according to the less restrictive so-called 3G rule will only be celebrated once a day on Sundays and feast days in every parish.
The 3G rule allows unvaccinated people who have not contracted COVID-19 to attend Mass at specific times, provided they show a negative COVID test upon entry, which may be no older than 24 hours for antigen tests and 48 hours for PCR tests.
In addition, the archdiocese issued a number of “protective health measures” to be applied in every church.
According to these, Holy Water stoups will remain empty, and the faithful wishing to attend church services must wear a mask at all times and may not receive Holy Communion on the tongue.
Kathleen Muxel, a member of the right-wing AfD party (Alternative for Germany), severely criticized the archdiocese’s decision yesterday.
According to the German bishops’ news website katholisch.de, Muxel argued that the restrictions constitute a form of discrimination against the unvaccinated and that preventing faithful Catholics from receiving the sacraments on medical grounds has no basis in Church law.
“Whoever believes in God should not be afraid of the corona plague,” she said.
The German archdiocese appears to be following in the footsteps of other dioceses around the world, including in the U.S., where bishops have already started to formally segregate vaccinated and unvaccinated parishioners.