Stop Vaccine Passports for Churches in Quebec
Quebec Premier François Legault has mandated that anyone who wishes to go to church or any place of worship in Quebec must have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There is already a restriction in Quebec that churches must be below a 50% capacity, with a maximum of 250 people. But now Quebec’s government has gone even further by telling religious communities in Quebec that they need to undergo a medical procedure if they wish to have access to sacraments or to their faith communities.
This decision was not made with a sufficient amount of consultation with religious leaders in Quebec. The Bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke stated in a letter that Catholic bishops in Quebec weren’t consulted. The fact that the Archdiocese in Quebec has chosen to suspend all masses in Quebec City until January 10th instead of complying with the vaccine mandate implies that this was the case.
By demanding places of worship to require vaccine passports, the government of Quebec is controlling access to these places of worship and inappropriately dictating the conditions under which Quebec citizens can participate in their faith communities. With this policy, the Quebec government is trying to demonstrate that they have power over religious leaders in deciding who should participate in their faith. As well, they are trying to demonstrate that religion is so non-essential that there is no problem in the government controlling who can be allowed access or denied access to their places of worship.
Telling citizens of any faith that they must take a vaccine, which they may have sincere ethical objections to, in order to participate in their faith is essentially forcing them to get the vaccine against their will. Regardless of what one thinks of COVID-19 vaccines currently offered in Canada, we must all respect the autonomy of the individual enough to believe that no one should be forced against their will to get it.
Premier François Legault is trampling on the religious freedoms and the freedom of conscience of Quebec citizens, and we shouldn’t stand for it. Please sign today to tell Premier François Legault that he must drop the vaccine passport requirement on places of worship immediately!
Quebec's current restrictions on places of worship: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/measures-in-force/weddings-places-worship-funerals
Letter by Bishop of the Diocese of Pembroke: https://pembrokediocese.com/article/an-unusual-christmas/
Archdiocese of Quebec's response: https://www.ecdq.org/noel-2021-nouveau-communique-sur-la-suspension-des-celebrations/