HAMILTON, Ontario, July 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a letter obtained by LifeSiteNews, a Canadian bishop warned priests that their ministry may be restricted if they don’t receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
“Anyone who does not receive the vaccines may find themselves limited in their ministry,” wrote Hamilton’s Bishop Douglas Crosby in a July 20 letter addressed to his priests and deacons (click HERE to access a PDF of the letter). Crosby urged clergy in his diocese to “continue observing the wise counsel of the health authorities.”
Priests who don’t take a coronavirus shot “may not be permitted entrance to health care facilities (hospitals and nursing homes) and schools,” he continued.
Crosby’s threat to bar unvaccinated priests from visiting health care facilities could hinder priests’ ability to administer the Sacrament of the Sick, sometimes known as the Last Rites, which includes confession, extreme unction (anointing), and the reception of Holy Communion by the sick and dying.
The Bishop of Hamilton did not state definitively that he would restrict priests’ ability to say Mass and perform other sacraments elsewhere. However, he wrote that in “order that all clergy can carry out their ministries effectively, including celebrating Mass and the other Sacraments, it is imperative that they get fully vaccinated.”
Crosby is also pressuring laity to get jabbed: “Similarly, parish ministers and staff members who are fully vaccinated will be able to carry out their respective roles more effectively,” he wrote.
While his letter doesn’t say the vaccine is required for priests or lay ministers, noting that “vaccines are not mandatory at this time,” Crosby invoked Pope Francis to frame COVID vaccination as a “moral imperative.”
“Pope Francis reminds us that it is a moral imperative that everyone get vaccinated in order to prevent the potential infection and spread of COVID-19 and its variants,” he wrote.
Crosby referred here to Pope Francis’s remarks in a January interview, when he said, “I believe that, ethically, everyone should take the vaccine,” and that it’s “an ethical choice, because you are playing with health, life, but you are also playing with the lives of others.”
Pope Francis has not mentioned the fact that the currently available coronavirus vaccines are developed using material from aborted babies, leading many pro-lifers to conscientiously object to taking them. A chart detailing which vaccines use cell lines from aborted babies, and at what stage the cell lines are used, was published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Crosby echoed Pope Francis’s sentiments on vaccines, writing, “We are morally obligated to do all that we know is possible lest the health of our parishioners be jeopardized.”
Nowhere in his letter does Crosby mention the possibility that some of his priests may have natural immunity from prior coronavirus infection, which also puts them at an elevated risk of having an adverse reaction to one of the vaccines. His letter also does not account for the possibility of some of his priests having allergies or other contraindications that medically prevent receiving one of the shots; some of his priests conscientiously objecting to the use of abortion-tainted vaccines; and “parish ministers and staff members” who may be pregnant or of childbearing age and avoiding the vaccine because of worries about miscarriage, birth defects, or fertility.
Some American bishops have already begun to order that laity involved in certain parish activities receive the coronavirus vaccine. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas – the first bishop in the United States to cancel all public Masses at the beginning of the coronavirus – has barred lay people from delivering Communion to the sick and choir members from singing at Mass unless they are “fully vaccinated” with an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New York, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, announced in May 2021 that it would begin segregating vaccinated and unvaccinated parishioners. Only people who have received the abortion-tainted injections will be permitted to sing in the choir or serve on the altar. How to enforce this, or whether to actually look at and possibly store people’s medical records, is up to each parish.
Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago, meanwhile, declared that those who are “full vaccinated” may enter the church doors without masks, but only if they provide proof of their “vaccination status.”
When Pope Francis visits Slovakia in September, only people who have received a coronavirus vaccine will be allowed at the papal Mass, Slovakian health minister Vladimír Lengvarský announced during a press conference on July 20. That decision was made in cooperation with the Slovakian bishops’ conference.
Crosby’s Diocese of Hamilton has history of LGBT activism
Under Crosby, the Diocese of Hamilton argued in favor of flying the “gay pride” flag at Catholic schools, in the form of a document submitted by Episcopal Vicar for Education for the Catholic Partners of the Diocese of Hamilton, Father Cornelius O’Mahony. At the same time, the Chancellor for the Diocese of Hamilton forbade parish priests within the diocese from petitioning against the proposal, or speaking out about the matter in homilies.
On May 6, the Toronto Catholic School District Board passed motions proclaiming June to be observed as Pride Month and mandating the Pride flag be flown at all schools and the school board office. Social media posts later displayed the raising of the Pride flag at several Catholic schools in Ontario.
Largely in response to this move, which scandalized faithful Catholics, laymen of the Diocese of Hamilton have set up a website calling on fellow parishioners to “defund the diocese.”
Father Janusz Roginski, who argued that the LGBT “pride” flag does not reflect the Catholic faith, was asked to leave the Diocese of Hamilton in April because of his “pastoral approach towards the pandemic.”
LifeSiteNews reached out to the Communications team of the Diocese of Hamilton but was referred to the bishop’s secretary, who has not yet replied.
Contact information for respectful communications:
Diocese of Hamilton
Bishop Douglas Crosby
700 King St W
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
+1 (905) 528-7988 ext. 2222