ALL Archdiocese of Brisbane employees, priests and deacons are required to comply with public health orders and have received two COVID-19 vaccinations by December 15.December deadline for priests and church workers to vaccinate – The Catholic Leader
ALL Archdiocese of Brisbane employees, priests and deacons are required to comply with public health orders and have received two COVID-19 vaccinations by December 15.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has sent a letter to all priests and deacons to comply with double-dose vaccination by December 15 or stand aside.
A similar policy has been provided to all Church employees across Brisbane archdiocese, including those employed by Brisbane Catholic Education, Centacare and parish employees. However, BCE employees based in schools are not subject to this mandatory vaccination announcement as the state’s education sector decides on the best approach.
“Clergy not doubly vaccinated are failing in their duty to care for the faithful,” Archbishop Coleridge wrote.
Archbishop Coleridge asked each priest and deacon to notify him of their vaccination status.
His letter sets out clearly Brisbane Archdiocese’s policy drawn up to conform with Queensland Health regulations.
“The policy is based on the commitment of the archdiocese to the health and safety of all its employees, contractors, students, volunteers and lay religious working within the archdiocese,” he wrote.
“It is designed to protect agency clients, parishioners and all the faithful.”.
By December 15, Brisbane Archdiocese employees outside of those working in schools will also need to show proof of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination or provide evidence of a medical condition that prevents vaccination.
“The safety and protection of our parishioners, employees and volunteers continues to be a high priority,” vicar general and Auxiliary Bishop Ken Howell wrote in a letter to all staff.
“We’ve seen your witness to this over the past 18 months through the challenging protocols each parish and agency has had to adhere to in order to ensure safe places of employment and places of worship for our community.
“As you are well aware, Queensland’s borders are set to open in coming weeks at which time there will be increased risk of COVID-19 infection in the community.
“During this time it is important that we continue to show respect and kindness to one another and people’s differing views.”
It is not clear how many priests or Church employees will refuse vaccination.
Addressing his obligations as Brisbane’s Church leader, Archbishop Coleridge said it was his duty under Canon law to attend to presbyters… “to protect their rights and take care that they correctly fulfil the obligations proper to their state”.
“A pastor or assistant pastor in parish ministry is to know the faithful, visit families, care for the faithful, strengthening them in the Lord and refresh the faithful with the sacraments,” he wrote to priests.
“Diligently, he is to seek out the poor, the afflicted, the lonely and the exiled.
“He is to support spouses and parents in fulfilling their proper duties and to foster growth of Christian life in the family.
“That means that clergy engaged in parish ministry must be close to the people.
“In the circumstances of the pandemic, clergy engaged in pastoral ministry who are not doubly vaccinated put the faithful of the parish at risk.”