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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — After nearly two years, the Vatican has announced an end to its vaccine mandate and mandatory masking policies for visitors and most employees.  

In a decree published by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano on June 2, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin announced that “entry to the dicasteries, bodies and offices that make up the Roman Curia and the institutions connected with the Holy See is permitted without the obligation” of having the proof of vaccination certificate known as the “super green pass.” 

Parolin also stated that the Vatican would be relaxing its masking protocols, saying that masking was no longer required but still “strongly recommended.”  

While the rescinding of the vaccine mandate will apply to visitors and most employees, Parolin did clarify that the policy has “remained in effect for the Pontifical Swiss Guards.” 

The decree also outlined that unvaccinated employees will be required to quarantine for 10 days if exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, while vaccinated employees are free to return to work immediately.  

As reported extensively by LifeSiteNews, the Vatican’s decision to impose a vaccine mandate was highly controversial given that all of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines have links to the grave evil of abortion.  

READ: Vatican tells traditional French bishop to suspend ordinations of priests, deacons

In February 2021, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, publicly opposed the Vatican’s stance on the shots, and called for a “new phase” of the pro-life movement that specifically pleads for the eradication of abortion-derived medicine.  

“But I think there now comes a new time, a new phase, a new period of all pro-life movements to protest, clearly and unambiguously, against abortion-tainted medicines, against the abuse of the body parts of the unborn,” stated Schneider.  

The bishop also expressed sadness for his fellow Church leaders, especially those connected to the Holy See, “who, unfortunately, do not see the grievousness” of the matter. 

“The first crime is the murder, the assassination, of the unborn child. Then there is the extraction of the cells – it’s a crime, it’s horrible. And then there is the recycling of these body parts. And then there is the commercialization, and so on. And then there is the fabrication of medicines and the fabrication of the vaccines,” lamented the bishop. 

“These are all connected. You cannot separate them,” he added. “When you take this medicine in your body or this vaccine, you cannot say, ‘Oh, all these evils disappear, and I am very far away [from them all].’ This is not true. You are entering this chain.” 

“The hour has now come that all people of goodwill, especially believing Catholics, all pro-life organizations have to stand up and make a fiery protest with one voice and say, ‘We will never agree [with], we will never admit [into our lives] these evils.’”