Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli fears vaccination mandates will lead to a two-tier society
“It is up to the individual to do the right thing for himself and his community,” he said.
Victoria Jewish Community Council chairman Daniel Aghion said the council is in favor of anything that helps open the community.
“If that means those who gather together have to be vaccinated or have to show proof of vaccination, we would all be in favor,” he said.
The restrictions related to COVID-19 have been controversial in parts of the Jewish community. There was a tense confrontation this month between worshipers and police at a Ripponlea synagogue after members of the ultra-Orthodox community illegally gathered to mark the Jewish New Year.
Debate over vaccination warrants has intensified this week amid protests involving workers, right-wing extremists and anti-vaccination activists at landmarks such as the West Gate Bridge and the Sanctuary over a mandate for the construction industry and sector closure.
The government said the shutdown was due to the high number of industry-linked COVID-19 cases and low rates of compliance with restrictions. Instructions issued by Chief Medical Officer of Health Brett Sutton now require all workers to receive 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 childhood educators would be required to get vaccinated, which will align them with the elderly care and health sectors.
The imposition of mandatory vaccinations is expected to increase as Victoria emerges from lockdown.
As part of the roadmap announced by Prime Minister Daniel Andrews last Sunday, restrictions will remain in place until at least 70% of Victorians over 16 have had two strokes – a target that should be reached around October 26. Once this is achieved, Victorians will enjoy small gains such as the travel bubble around houses stretching for 25 kilometers, a phased return to on-site learning, and up to 10 fully vaccinated people allowed to meet at outside.
When 80% of eligible Victorians are fully immunized, people will be able to shop, go to the pub and attend events just like they did before – provided they are double stung.
Archbishop Comensoli said churches had been flexible during the pandemic, but noted that for many people of faith, “spiritual well-being is as important as psychological and physical well-being.”
Similar concerns have also been raised in New South Wales, where religious leaders have pressured Health Minister Brad Hazzard for exemptions from the requirement that worshipers present proof of vaccination once state. reopened.
“We explained that all of our denominations are inclined to allow all comers to pray, that many pastors and faithful would be uncomfortable restricting worship to fully vaccinated people and that this could prove to be very divisive,” Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said this month. .
In Tasmania, Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous also wrote to state health minister Jeremy Rockliff to request a waiver of a public health directive requiring people working in nursing homes from September 17 be vaccinated or have reservations for their vaccination.
He said he was “obligated to abide by the decision of members of the clergy who have a conscientious objection to receiving any 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 being 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 anything [COVID-19] vaccine”.
The Andrews government did not respond to questions from Age on exemptions requested by religious groups in Victoria.
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