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PEMBROKE, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) – An Ontario Catholic bishop issued a letter condemning the neighboring province of Quebec for instructing churches to bar the unvaccinated right before Christmas.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke in Ontario, Guy Desrochers, issued a letter titled “An Unusual Christmas” on Monday, defending Quebec Catholics who wish to remain free of COVID-19 injections after the province of Quebec told churches that they must ask for proof-of-vaccination from each parishioner prior to entry.

“Since the very beginning of the pandemic, our churches have scrupulously followed the multiple standards of the health authorities and have helped to prevent any spread of the virus in our congregations. Now, it is as if the government suddenly had no confidence in the measures it has imposed on places of worship. We are treated more harshly than supermarkets and many other businesses, yet at one point we were recognised as ‘essential’ to the welfare of the public, particularly to the faithful,” Desrochers wrote.

“I seriously wonder whether the line between what the State can and cannot dictate to the various religious communities has been crossed with this obligation to present vaccination passports at the entrance to our churches,” the bishop added. “The Code of Canon Law is clear: no member of the faithful should be deprived of the Sacraments. But our governments are making a mockery of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church. Dare to challenge your government representatives to change this latest law which in fact oversteps their role and duty in our society. Their role is earthly, and we recognise that it is God Himself who has entrusted them with this responsibility, but ours is heavenly, for Christ Himself entrusts us with the spiritual stewardship of His Kingdom.”

While the decision by the Quebec government to compel churches to bar the unvaccinated has been criticized by many as an affront to each Canadians’ inalienable right to freedom of religion, there is an even greater cause for concern specifically for Catholics, as many members of the faithful oppose the shots on religious grounds as all the currently available injections have connections to abortion.

In effect, Catholics who oppose the COVID-19 injections on legitimate religious grounds are being told by the government of Quebec that in order to worship God during Sunday Mass, they must first transgress their faith by betraying their conscience.

Although other religious traditions offer religious services as an additional way to express one’s faith, in Catholicism, under normal circumstances, attendance at Sunday Mass is an obligation under the pain of grave sin. 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 bound to take part in Sunday worship.

Coronavirus vaccine trials have never produced evidence that the vaccines stop infection or transmission. They do not even claim to reduce hospitalization, but the measurement of success is in preventing severe symptoms of COVID-19 disease. Moreover, there is strong evidence that the “vaccinated” are just as likely to carry and transmit the virus as the unvaccinated.

In his closing remarks, Desrochers warned that creating a system that pits the unvaccinated and the vaccinated against each other will “divide us spiritually to the point of hatred towards our neighbor, instead of the unconditional love that Christ wants to give us by taking on our mortal condition on this great Christmas Day.”

“May we rediscover our childlike hearts as we contemplate the Child in the manger. See how he opens wide his little arms and hands, as if to say to each of us: ‘Will you let me into your heart at Christmas?’”

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