“Covid pass” for many venues, but not for Mass

Italy France Covid pass

Italy and France have introduced a “Covid pass” requiring citizens to show they have been vaccinated before being admitted to most indoor venues.

So far, both countries have excluded the need for passes to be shown before attending Mass!

The Italian government rolled out new rules requiring citizens to present a ‘Green Pass’ to be admitted to most indoor venues.

The pass demonstrates they have been vaccinated, or have had a negative COVID test in the past 48 hours.

A spokesman from the Italian bishops’ conference told Crux that “there has been nothing” in terms of discussion about whether a Green Pass or negative COVID test will be necessary to attend Mass or other indoor church events.

During Italy’s strict coronavirus lockdown in 2020, Masses were suspended for nearly three months. This was part of a wider ban on all public gatherings in a bid to curb the number of infections.

The suspension of Masses sparked a widespread national debate on religious freedom. Many arguing that access to spiritual support was an ‘essential service’ in such a difficult time.

It was also suggested that the ample size of Italian churches allowed faithful to spread out without fear of contagion.

Meanwhile, in France, President Emmanuel Macron has mandated that only people who possess a “health passport” will be allowed to participate in cultural and recreational events attended by more than 50 people.

The passport will attest they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Father Gwenaël Maurey, rector of the basilica and shrine of Sainte-Anne d’Auray, said the extension of the health passport for religious ceremonies would have been “a normal measure”.

The priest said he would have welcomed extending the measure to churches. “The health passport is an act of charity, to protect others,” he said.

French church officials say that even though health passports are not required to attend Mass, people must still be vigilant.

During the Easter celebrations in April, several parishes were accused of not respecting protective measures.

Consequently, “the introduction of a health passport in places of worship could have resolved these concerns and reassured parishioners,” opined Father Maurey.



La Croix International

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