WINDSOR, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) – A Canon Law challenge has been launched by Taunia Phillips, a parishioner in the Diocese of London, Ontario, against Bishop Ronald Fabbro over his recently announced vaccine mandate for employees, priests, and volunteers.
The mandate from Bishop Fabbro stipulated that volunteers will be removed from their posts, and “clergy who refuse vaccination will be removed from current duties.” In addition, employees may be assigned to work remotely, but it is not guaranteed. Anyone who loses a position, whether lay or clerical, is not guaranteed they will be placed back in the same position if the mandate is rescinded.
Phillips is a devout Roman Catholic and gave an exclusive interview to LifeSiteNews outlining her fight against the Diocese of London mandate. Phillips has long volunteered in various roles for her parish but is not longer allowed as a result of the mandate.
Her main area of concern is what she views as an inappropriate response by Bishop Fabbro, who, she believes, has gone beyond what is encouraged by the Holy See. Phillips cited the document from the Vatican, Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines, which stated that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”
Phillips shared that she was troubled at the fact that the language surrounding the push to jab people with the abortion-tainted medication focuses on the “common good” and “love” for your neighbour. She believes there is a contradiction between the mandate that Bishop Fabbro has promulgated and the truths of the Catholic faith found in the Bible.
In addition to the fact that the Vatican has already clarified that vaccination against COVID must be voluntary, Phillips referred to first book of Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul wrote a treatise on Christian love.
“I know what love is. And it is not coercive,” she said. “It is not manipulative. It does not use shame. It does not try to impose itself on others. It is meek and gentle and respects the freedom of others. I recognize manipulation when I see it.”
Phillips did not deny that COVID-19 is a serious issue in her interview with LifeSiteNews, and said that it should in “no way be understood that we do not take the virus seriously or that we do not care for the vulnerable or otherwise be reckless with God’s gifts.”
Her point of contention is that it seems to her that the bishop “does not seem at all to have any supernatural faith.”
“Part of what terrifies me is the utter lack of supernatural faith from our leaders … We believe in the Resurrection. We live for the world to come. So many of these policies and procedures by church leadership seem more grounded in the fear of death than in Resurrection faith. This is central to our Christian faith. But that’s not what I see. Instead, I see fear. Following fear I see oppression, suppression, manipulation, coercion, and shame. I don’t recognize faith, hope or love in any of that.”
She said that she felt it was “scary” to see Church leadership acting in this manner. “I’m going to be mandated to go to take it at my work and I’m going to take a stand, I’m not taking it. I’m going to lose my job and I can’t go to my bishop.”
Phillips told LifeSiteNews that she did not relish the fact that she felt compelled to take these steps against her bishop on behalf of the faithful, but she is convicted that the mandate situation is “evil and they don’t know it, and they’re actually going so far as to call evil good.”
The canonical proceeding that Phillips has initiated is being overseen by a Canon lawyer, and any subject of the Diocese of London who is over age 14 can contact her to add their signature to a procurator mandate.
Anyone who wishes to speak with her on the subject from her diocese can contact her at [email protected].