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(LifeSiteNews) – Christmas Bureau, an annual holiday benefit program coordinated in part by Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, required a proof of COVID-19 vaccination or 72-hour negative coronavirus test for entry into its food and gift assistance event for needy families.

“Inoculation against covid-19 is an important way to protect the common good, especially children and those who are most vulnerable,” Bishop Thomas Daly of the Diocese of Spokane claimed in his most recent statement on the experimental shots. “I encourage the faithful of eastern Washington to join me in getting vaccinated.”

Children face extremely low risk from COVID-19.

This summer, researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia” when they “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020.”

Daly also recognized the primacy of one’s own conscience in electing not to receive the COVID shot, but nevertheless encouraged efforts to persuade non-recipients to receive the jab, citing Vatican and state guidance as support for such endeavors. “I am hopeful that mask-wearing and an increase in vaccinations will help bring an end to the suffering and death caused by this pandemic,” he concluded.

Catholic Charities Eastern Washington office’s policy for COVID vaccination follows Daly’s admonition to receive the shot. The office also currently mandates its volunteers obtain the COVID-19 injection to interact directly with others. A pop-up notice on its website reads: “As of March 2021 for the safety of our clients and staff, only current and future volunteers who have been fully vaccinated will be eligible to volunteer on-site or have direct client interaction… Other covid-19 safety protocols will still apply.”

Screenshot of, accessed December 22, 2021

If the proof of vaccination or negative test requirement “prevent you from being able to pick up your items at the Fairgrounds you can have someone who is vaccinated or tested negative pickup on your behal[f],” Christmas Bureau’s website said.

Christmas Bureau did not publicly offer any exemption from the proof of vaccination or negative COVID test requirement to participate, despite being a massive community initiative. This year’s assistance drive received $489,972.10 in monetary donations alone as of December 22. In addition to Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, the benefit program, which ran from December 4 to December 16, is sponsored by Volunteers of America and the Spokesman-Review, Spokane’s daily newspaper. It gives food, gifts, and books to families in need during the Christmas season.

Although Daly has a history of outspoken support for life, Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington office under his jurisdiction has a public record of supporting “woke” ideology.

“For me as a white person, saying I’m not a racist is like saying fish is not wet,” the organization’s leader Rob McCann said in a 2020 video. “My Catholic church and my Catholic Charities organization is racist. How could they not be?”