GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, Newfoundland and Labrador (LifeSiteNews) – You might have a hard time getting into Mass in parts of Newfoundland or Labrador if you haven’t gotten COVID jabs.
The Bishop of Grand Falls-Windsor in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (N.L.) has barred unvaccinated parishioners from attending Mass. In a letter released 10 days ago, Bishop R. Anthony Daniels wrote that “effective October 22,” it would be “mandatory”for everyone aged 12 or over to be vaccinated with COVID jabs if they want to attend Mass.
Many Catholics do not want to take the current COVID inoculations because they were developed or tested using cell-lines derived from aborted babies. Others have refused them because of the thousands of deaths and millions of injuries reported to official watchdogs such as the USA’s Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS) following their use.
In his letter, the bishop gave detailed instructions for downloading an app that facilitates vaccine-segregation in the province and stressed the importance of “compliance with the Mandate.” The bishop was referred to the N.L. vaccine passport system unveiled on October 22. The Mandate is not dissimilar to segregation systems throughout the country, and it does not require churches or religious to comply with its directives.
The provincial health authorities did speak with religious leaders in the province and encouraged voluntary vaccination, but they were clear that religious groups are not required to demand proof of inoculation against COVID-19.
Thus, the Bishop of Grand Falls-Windsor has freely decided to forgo the option not to demand a vaccine passport as the price of entry to Catholic communal devotional life.
Under normal circumstances, attendance at Sunday Mass is an obligation for Catholics under the pain of 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. If there are circumstances that preclude a Catholic from attending Mass, such as illness or necessary travel, then the obligation is lifted from him or her. The letter from the bishop did not say whether Catholics who do not take the jab are dispensed from attending Sunday Mass.
Responsibility for policing churches in the diocese rests with laypeople. Bishop Daniels instructed “Ushers or Greeters or other volunteers” to download the vaccine passport app and “use their smartphone camera to scan the Electronic QR Code on the attendees’ smartphone or on the printed page to confirm proof of vaccination.”
Additionally, “after verifying proof of vaccination,” the enforcers of medical segregation “must also review identification.”
Despite barring unjabbed Catholics from his churches, Bishop Daniels has opted to continue imposing restrictions on the rest of the congregants. “[A[ll the current restrictions presently in place will continue even for churches using the NLVaxPass and NLVaxVerify applications,” he wrote.
The restrictions are as following:
- congregations are limited to 50 percent of churches’ capacity;
- everyone must wear a non-medical mask at all times (including the officiant and musicians);
- congregational singing is not permitted;
- the names and contact information of all attendees must be recorded and retained for 14 days for contact tracing, and must be shared with public health officials if requested;
- physical distancing must be maintained between individuals from different family groups; and
- entry must be restricted to those who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and who are not required to self-isolate for any reason.
The bishop finished the letter by saying: “Our patience and the patience of our parishioners will be tested. But we cannot let the pandemic win. Our people need access to the Sacramental life of the Church especially now.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to the Diocese of Grand Falls-Windsor to ask how banning unvaccinated parishioners from the Sacrament of the Eucharist will somehow help with “access to the Sacramental life of the Church.” The diocese has not yet replied.
To respectfully advise the bishop in this matter, please contact
Most Rev. R. Anthony Daniels
PO Box 771
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
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