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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican will still be asking for COVID papers, at least until the end of the month.  

Yesterday Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, affirmed in a decree that the Vatican will maintain all its current COVID requirements despite the relaxing of mandates throughout Europe, including Italy.  

According to the National Catholic Register, Parolin claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic “requires specific extraordinary and exceptional measures to counter it and ensure the safe conduct of activities.” The cardinal referred to the decree of March 30, in which the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State had extended all COVID restrictions until April 30. These restrictions apply to both Vatican personnel and visitors.  

It is unclear why the decree was published yesterday when its restrictions are valid only until the end of the month.   

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PETITION to Pope Francis: Reinstate Puerto Rico Bishop, Daniel Fernández Torres
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By all accounts, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres' diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico is flourishing because of his adherence to the perennial teachings of the Church.

But, without any formal proceedings, Bishop Fernández Torres has been summarily 'relieved' of his episcopal duties allegedly because he championed conscience rights in the face of a Church vaccine mandate in Puerto Rico.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres now.

To be clear, COVID-19 is a serious disease, oftentimes with debilitating consequences, or worse, for those who contract it.

However, all coronavirus vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been tested on or produced with cell lines of aborted babies. And, the vaccines have been linked to serious side effects, while none has yet completed long-term testing.

Given the complexity of this issue, the Church has determined that getting vaccinated is a matter of personal discernment which each individual must make after informing his or her conscience.

As such, the Church teaches that there is no moral obligation to be vaccinated. Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Church's teaching authority where faith and moral are concerned, issued a statement to that effect in December, 2020.

Specifically, the CDF's, “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” of December 17, 2020, n. 5 states: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

Therefore, it would appear that for simply restating the current teaching of the CDF and for opposing his brother bishops in Puerto Rico on this seminal matter of conscientious objection, Rome is now attempting to "cancel" Bishop Fernández Torres.

This is wrong, unfair and discriminatory!

And, Bishop Fernández Torres is hardly the first bishop to defend Church teaching on conscientious objection on the issue of mandatory vaccination. Both the Colorado and South Dakota bishops' conferences released similar statements, and like Bishop Fernández Torres, they also offered to validate religious exemptions for member of their flock who asked to be exempted from vaccination.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres.

For his part, Bishop Fernández Torres, 57, a staunch defender of life and family, protested his removal as "totally unjust" in a statement released Wednesday (3/9/2022).

The bishop, who led his diocese for nearly 12 years, noted that Pope Francis’ apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico verbally requested that he resign, but said that he refused to do so, as he "did not want to become an accomplice of a totally unjust action."

"No process has been made against me," Bishop Fernández Torres wrote, "nor have I been formally accused of anything, and simply one day the apostolic delegate verbally communicated to me that Rome was asking me to resign."

“A successor of the apostles is now being replaced without even undertaking what would be a due canonical process to remove a parish priest,” the bishop added.

“I was informed that I had committed no crime but that I supposedly ‘had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico,’” he said. “It was suggested to me that if I resigned from the diocese I would remain at the service of the Church in case at some time I was needed in some other position; an offer that in fact proves my innocence.”

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Pope Francis abruptly removes faithful bishop who opposed COVID vaccine mandates' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-abruptly-removes-faithful-bishop-who-opposed-covid-vaccine-mandates/

'Puerto Rico bishop supports conscience objections to COVID vaccines, allows priests to sign exemptions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/puerto-rico-bishop-supports-conscience-objections-to-covid-vaccines-allows-priests-to-sign-exemptions/

**Photo Credit: Diocese of Arecibo

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There has been no record of deaths from COVID-19 on Vatican territory during the whole period of Italy’s declared emergency, which began in March 2020. The Vatican nonetheless has imposed some of the most restrictive measures in the world since the end of last year. 

Beginning just before Christmas, all staff, external collaborators, and visitors have been required to show a “Super Green Pass” to enter Vatican offices or buildings. The “Super Green Pass” can only be obtained through proof of either being triple vaxxed or having recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months; a negative COVID test does not suffice to obtain the pass.  

Any documentation besides the “Super Green Pass” is not acceptable for entry into Vatican buildings, although all that is required to enter St. Peter’s Basilica is an FFP2 mask. Failure to obtain a “Super Green Pass” on the part of any Vatican employee is deemed an “unjustified absence” from work, entailing the penalty of a suspension of pay.  

The Vatican announcement comes as Italy has just ended its state of emergency on March 31, and is set to end its indoor mask mandate on May 1, though other restrictions will last for months. 

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