Churches fear vaccine mandates could lead to two-tiered society

Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli is lobbying the state government to allow unvaccinated people to worship in person when the state reopens, warning that a double-dose COVID-19 vaccine requirement in exchange for certain freedoms could lead to a two-class society.

© Luis Ascui

Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli delivers the Easter Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on Sunday 4 April 2021. Photo Luis Ascui

With Victoria expected to emerge from lockdown within weeks, religious groups have called on the government to allow them to open up to their entire communities amid growing fears they will be forced to shut out those who have refused to be vaccinated.

Under the government’s reopening strategy, religious services of up to 50 people will be allowed outdoors with social-distancing requirements, once 70 per cent of Victorians over 16 are fully vaccinated. When 80 per cent of eligible Victorians have had both doses, weddings, funerals, and religious services will return for 150 fully vaccinated people indoors and 500 outdoors.

© Eddie Jim People gathered at a synagogue in Ripponlea. 7 September 2021. The Age News. Photo: Eddie Jim. PPXELATED FACES OF CHILDREN THE AGE NEWS People are seen exiting a Ripponlea synagogue, where up to 100 worshippers were believed to be marking Jewish New Year in what appears to be a breach of COVID-19 restrictions. The Age was told members of the Orthodox Jewish congregation entered the synagogue about 5am on Tuesday and refused to leave until nightfall. 7 September 2021. The Age News. Photo: Eddie Jim.

However, Archbishop Comensoli told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that while Catholics were being strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the notion of a vaccine passport system – in which church services or events are offered only to those who can prove they are fully inoculated against COVID-19 – could risk creating social division.

“It would be a tragedy if two classes of citizens, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, were to emerge and be entrenched as we look towards a COVID-normal goal,” he said.

“Lockdown has affected Victorians deeply, no less for the thousands of people of faith who have not been able to attend worship or receive the sacraments of the church … We believe we can achieve ways that allow both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to worship in person safely and are working with other faith leaders to bring those proposals to the table.”

© Wayne Taylor Police respond to protests by construction workers at the Shrine of Remembrance today. Picture by Wayne Taylor 22nd September 2021

The Catholic Church is among several faith-based groups that have called for greater clarity from the Health Department about how the government’s road map rules will work once Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double-dose vaccination target.

So too has the Islamic Council of Victoria, whose president, Adel Salman, said: “Only vaccinated people should attend the mosque to worship. However – and this is the big however – mosques will not police it, and will not enforce it, and will not turn people away.

“The onus is on the individual to do the right thing by themselves and their community,” he said.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Daniel Aghion said the council was in favour of whatever aided the opening up of the community.

“If that means those who gather would need to be vaccinated, or would need to show proof of vaccination, we’d be all in favour of it,” he said.

Video: NSW vaccine mandate for aged care workers in effect (Sky News Australia)

COVID-19 restrictions have been contentious in parts of the Jewish community. There was a tense stand-off this month between worshippers and police at a Ripponlea synagogue after members of the ultra-Orthodox community gathered illegally to mark Jewish New Year.

Debate over vaccine mandates intensified this week amid protests involving workers, right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists at landmarks such as the West Gate Bridge and the Shrine over a mandate for the construction industry and shutdown of the sector.

The government said the shutdown was due to the high number of COVID-19 cases connected to the industry and low rates of compliance with restrictions. Directions issued by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton now require all workers to have at least one dose of the vaccine before they can return to work on October 5.

This week the government also announced that school staff and early childcare workers would be required to be vaccinated, bringing them in line with the aged care and healthcare sectors.

The imposition of mandatory vaccinations is expected to grow as Victoria emerges from lockdown.

Under the road map announced by Premier Daniel Andrews last Sunday, restrictions will remain in place until at least 70 per cent of Victorians over 16 have had two jabs – a target expected to be reached around October 26. Once this is achieved, Victorians will enjoy small gains such as the travel bubble around homes expanding to 25 kilometres, a staggered return to on-site learning and up to 10 fully vaccinated people allowed to meet outdoors.

When 80 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated, people will be able to shop, go to the pub and attend events as they did previously – provided they are double jabbed.

Archbishop Comensoli said churches had been flexible during the pandemic, but he noted that for many people of faith, “spiritual wellbeing is as important as psychological and physical wellbeing”.

Similar concerns have also been raised in NSW, where religious leaders have lobbied Health Minister Brad Hazzard for exemptions to a requirement that churchgoers show proof of vaccination once the state reopens.

“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,” Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said this month.

In Tasmania, Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous has also written to state Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff, asking for an exemption to a public health directive requiring those working in aged care homes from September 17 to be vaccinated or have bookings for their vaccination.

He said he was “obligated to respect the decision of those members of the clergy who have a conscientious objection to receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in Australia”.

Lay Catholics have argued that this position is contrary to that of the Pope, who recently described getting vaccinated as “an act of love”.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a statement in April saying Catholics in Australia were “encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine” and that it was “morally permissible to accept any [COVID-19] vaccine”.

The Andrews government did not respond to questions from The Age about exemptions sought by religious groups in Victoria.

Stay across the most crucial developments related to the pandemic with the Coronavirus Update. Sign up for the weekly newsletter.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


How to use up Halloween pumpkin skin in a maple syrup pie – recipe

Nature determines that vegetables rot, dairy moulds and meat decays, but household food waste is, in fact, reducing: in 2018, the UK produced around 9.5m tonnes, a 15% reduction since ... Read more »

Carlyle plans $1 billion bond to help buy Indian IT firm Hexaware

Carlyle Group Inc.’s special-purpose investment holding firm CA Magnum Holdings plans to issue dollar bonds to help fund the proposed acquisition of Hexaware Technologies Ltd, according to Moody’s Investors Service. ... Read more »

Kolkata and eight districts posing serious concern after rising COVID numbers

With the Covid positivity rate on the rise after Durga Pujas in Bengal, Kolkata and eight districts are posing serious concern to the West Bengal administration after these districts witnessed ... Read more »

As searches for pet advent calendars surge, here are 8 of the best options

Searches for pet advent calendars have increased: 10 of the best to spoil your pooch. (Getty Images) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices ... Read more »

Learning to butcher a rabbit was one of the best things I've done on holiday this year

Hunter Gather Cook On a particularly wet and windy day, I found myself in a threshing barn face-to-face with an unlucky rabbit. I say unlucky as he had already met ... Read more »

Best Christmas gifts for mum: 13 ideas for presents she'll actually want

With gift ideas from £15, it’s never been easier to get ahead of the Christmas shopping rush. (Getty Images) Yahoo Life’s editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at ... Read more »

Edward Watson: Male ballet dancers no longer face stigma of being called 'sissy'

Although Watson is officially retiring as a principal dancer, he is remaining with the company as a full-time coach, working with the next generation of soloists. – Paul Grover Male ... Read more »

Tampa Police officer crashes while responding to call, police say

A Tampa Police officer hit another vehicle while responding to a call, causing the officer to crash into a TECO pole, Tampa Police said. At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a Tampa ... Read more »

Queen ‘back at her desk' following hospital stay, says Prime Minister

The Queen is back at her desk working following her overnight stay in hospital, the Prime Minister has said. The 95-year-old monarch, who was ordered to rest by doctors and ... Read more »

Cop26: World leaders to be shuttled on electric buses to meet the Queen at historic museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, where the Queen and the Prince of Wales are expected to meet world leaders – Danny Lawson/PA Wire The Queen, Prince Charles and ... Read more »

The 'trick' Princess Beatrice and Edo are using to raise baby Sienna

Photo credit: Luc Castel – Getty Images Princess Beatrice's husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, has revealed the parenting hack the couple are using to raise their daughter, Sienna. The newlyweds welcomed ... Read more »

Norris still senses chance to beat Ferrari in Austin

He may have been second best to them in qualifying, but Lando Norris is still hopeful of beating the Ferraris on race day in Austin. © PA Images Lando Norris ... Read more »

Can I travel to Thailand?

( Unsplash) Earlier this month, on 11 October, Thailand was removed from the UK’s red list for travel. Ten days later, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, signed entry guidelines for ... Read more »

‘I shaved 9 years off my mortgage': Simple way finance expert took his family to loan free

© THE HUMBLE PENNY/GETTY Ken Okoroafor of The Humble Penny Ken Okoroafor is a financial expert who managed to become financially free by just 34. During the pandemic, he was ... Read more »

Black British Fashion: Fashion is a form of experimentation

A look into the personal fashion choices and style of Black British women today. Read more »

Weatherwatch: the climate of the Windward Islands

Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images The Windward Islands are the colloquial name for the southernmost, larger islands of the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies, comprising St Lucia, St Vincent and ... Read more »

Self Assessment guidance issued as deadline nears & a 'lumpy tax burden' hits freelancers

Self Assessment paper returns must be completed by October 31, while online returns must be done by January 31, 2022. Despite there still being time to act, new research from ... Read more »

Ex-MP Frank Field reveals terminal illness as he backs assisted dying

Frank Field, the former Labour MP for Birkenhead, has revealed that he is terminally ill as he backed a law that would allow assisted dying. Field, 79, represented the Merseyside ... Read more »

Best eco-friendly and low VOC paint, from Little Greene to Lick

Paints that are low VOC could also boost the value of your home. (Getty Images) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices for you. ... Read more »

Former vaccine chief returns to NHS in renewed drive to deliver booster jabs

Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes a dose of the pfizer vaccine (Matt Dunham/PA) (PA Wire) The former head of England’s coronavirus vaccine delivery drive has been drafted back into the ... Read more »

Unsolved killing still resonates with family

Oct. 23—HIGH POINT — Deneka Booth maintains hope that the fatal shooting of her son Robert five months ago outside a south High Point condominium complex will be solved and ... Read more »

Black British Fashion: Fashion is the greatest form of self-expression

A look into the personal fashion choices and style of Black British women today. Read more »

'They're leaving in droves': UK faces bus driver shortage as HGV industry offers better pay

A shortage of bus drivers in the UK is being caused by better pay being offered to drive HGVs, according to a union. © Sky News Screen Grab Services through ... Read more »

'Rust' filmmaker Joel Souza breaks silence after colleague Halyna Hutchins' death

Souza remembered Hutchins as an "incredibly talented" cinematographer, after he survived the prop-gun shooting on set that ended his friend's life. Read more »

Yvonne Liu  Why cancer stigma for Asian Americans is so dangerous

For 28 years, I kept my breast cancer a secret. I lived in fear that my Chinese-American friends would shun me if I told them what I had endured. Read more »

Colombian kingpin 'Otoniel' arrested in 'biggest blow to drug trafficking since fall of Pablo Escobar'

Saturday's operation, named Osiris, involved more than 500 members of Colombia's special forces and 22 helicopters, according to defence minister Diego Molano. The operation, which resulted in the death of one police officer, brought to an end years-long efforts to find Otoniel. Read more »

We've Been Holding Our Phones The Wrong Way All This Time

(Photo: Delmaine Donson via Getty Images) Do you spend countless hours scrolling on your phone? We’re probably all aware by now of the potential impact on our mental health and ... Read more »

Kate Middleton's diet and workout routine is surprisingly normal

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo – Getty Images As a mother of three and one of the most recognised (and judging by her diary, busiest) women in the world, it must ... Read more »

Lorli von Trapp Campbell, of 'The Sound of Music' family, dies at 90

Eleonore “Lorli” von Trapp Campbell was the second daughter of Georg and Maria von Trapp and a younger stepsibling to the older von Trapp children who went on to be depicted in stage and film. Read more »

ICICI Bank Q2 results takeaways: Profit, NII beat Street estimates; asset quality improves

NEW DELHI: ICICI Bank ‘s September quarter numbers beat Street estimates on all key metrics. Asset quality for the bank improved and fresh provisions also fell. Net interest margin (NIM) ... Read more »

CJI: Poor infrastructure derailing justice delivery, need financial autonomy

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday blamed poor infrastructure as one of the key factors derailing the justice delivery mechanism in the country and sought to address ... Read more »

Council could be millions of pounds out of pocket if drivers ‘wise up' about traffic cameras

Croydon Council said that it still plans to make £11.8m from ANPR cameras, because ‘it’s expected that people will not comply straight away’ – Paul Grover A council declared bankrupt ... Read more »

Is Nifty nearing the last phase of Dow Theory? Retail frenzy holds the clue

This week Indian bourses shed some blood as bears tightened their grip. Valuations of numerous companies are bulging while fundamentals trail behind. Interestingly, in majority of the companies that steeply ... Read more »

In an unusually normal manner, Notre Dame has no trouble with USC, 31-16

© Provided by NBC Sports SOUTH BEND, Ind. — USC’s norm was a Notre Dame oddity, but the No. 13 Irish were happy to keep alive the Trojans’ streak of ... Read more »

Elan group to develop luxury retail project in Gurgaon, to invest Rs 62 crore

Elan group will invest Rs 62 crore in developing a luxury retail project spread over 3.35 acre in sector 50, Gurgaon. Elan Group has awarded the construction contract worth Rs ... Read more »

Centre to set up seven mega integrated textile parks

The Ministry of Textiles on Thursday issued a notification for setting up of 7 PM Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel ( PM MITRA) Parks as announced in Union Budget ... Read more »

NSCN-IM says Naga talks failed to live up to all the hype

NSCN-IM said talks failed to live up to all the hype as the Government of India continues to indulge in political escapism on the very issues that is holding up ... Read more »

Remains of the Pandemic: How some apps, habits have survived and some have fallen by the wayside

Last March, when the first nationwide lockdown began, 24-year-old Sanskriti made a WhatsApp group with her friends for playing online games to while away the unexpected windfall of time the ... Read more »

John Neff on the merits of betting on low P/E investing

The most important prerequisites for investment success are judgement and fortitude, according to legendary investor John B. Neff, and investors do not require the help of glamour stocks or bull ... Read more »

Don't have information on e-visas to Afghans: MHA

More than two months after India announced emergency electronic visas for Afghan nationals, in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic