Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP says vaccination must not be a barrier to worship, after the New South Wales Government announced churches could reopen once 70 per cent of adults received two COVID-19 vaccine doses. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
Archbishop Fisher said he has been in discussions with the NSW Government and NSW Health, joining with other religious leaders in insisting that worship is an essential service, not mere recreation for many people.
“We explained that all our faiths are inclined to allow all comers to worship, that many pastors and faithful would be uneasy with restricting worship to the fully vaccinated and that doing so could prove very divisive”, he said.
“Race, gender, ethnicity, age, education, wealth or health status (including vaccination) must not be points of division within the Christian community or barriers to communion with Jesus”.
Archbishop Fisher said he was committed to ensuring a safe return to worship for everyone.
“We are working with a leading infectious diseases and risk management specialist to devise a plan that would allow for safe reopening of churches and safe return to worship for all.”
Monica Doumit, Director, Public Affairs and Engagement with the Archdiocese of Sydney, said that churches have been open to people from millennia without distinction “and that’s the way we want it to continue”.
Churches should be for all, not just the vaccinated (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)