Townsville Bishop Tim Harris has mandated all Townsville Diocese agency employees and volunteers, excluding staff of Townsville Catholic Education schools and colleges, be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 17.
“The safety and protection of our parishioners, employees and volunteers continues to be a high priority. We’ve seen 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,” Bishop Harris said.
With the Queensland borders set to open in December and the expected increase in numbers of COVID-19 infections across Queensland, the diocese has decided the mandate is appropriate for the protection for staff and the community.
“While our churches will remain open to both the vaccinated and un-vaccinated under the Queensland government protocols, it is important that we are seen as being on the front foot in protecting our staff and volunteers as well as those who come into our Churches and those who require the support of our agencies,” Bishop Harris said.
“We have over 5 million people who have lost their lives around the world because of this virus. The hysteria by those against vaccination is endangering lives and this must be condemned. All the best medical advice says ‘get vaccinated’. This is what I have encouraged during the pandemic and that is what this policy is all about.”
Bishop mandates COVID-19 Vaccine (Townsville Diocese)