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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican will prohibit persons without a COVID-19 digital certificate from entering its sovereign territories starting Oct. 1, the Holy See Press Office announced Monday.
The ordinance issued by Cdl. Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, was promulgated on the express orders of Pope Francis in his audience Sept. 7, the statement said.
Francis said he was prepared "to adopt all appropriate measures to prevent, control and combat the ongoing public health emergency," even though there are currently zero cases of COVID-19 in the Vatican and no deaths caused by the disease.
The digital certificate or "Green Pass" requires the individual to be double vaccinated, have undergone a PCR or rapid antigen test with negative results in the last 48 hours, or possess a medical certificate proving recovery from SARS-CoV-2.
Entry to the Vatican City State and to the Holy See's extra-territorial sovereign areas referred to in Articles 15 and 16 of the Lateran Treaty will be policed by the Holy See's Gendarmerie, the press statement said.
The provisions of the ordinance apply to citizens, residents and personnel employed by the world's smallest country, to members of the Roman Curia and institutions connected to it, as well as to all visitors and users of Vatican services.
No exemptions will be granted for conscientious objectors to the abortion-tainted vaccine, but exceptions will be made only for those participating in "liturgical celebrations for the time strictly necessary for the performance of the rite."
Such persons would be required to maintain strict social distancing, use personal protective equipment and refrain from entering areas of the Vatican outside the boundaries of their worship space. The numbers of such individuals would also be limited.
Pope Francis said the ordinance is "necessary to ensure the health and well-being of the working community while respecting the dignity, rights and fundamental freedoms of each of its members."
Faithful Catholics, tourist guides and Vatican employees who are refusing to take the abortion-tainted shot expressed shock at the draconian decree.
Speaking to Church Militant on condition of anonymity, a senior civil servant told Church Militant that Jesus' words on "the abomination of desolation" was the "first biblical verse that came to my mind when I heard the news."
"I look to the Church to take care of its flock," the faithful Catholic said. "To see this happening in the Vatican is both uncharitable and scientifically ignorant."
"As many scientific studies have shown, vaccination does not render one immune or unable to transmit the virus — in some cases, it actually increases the potential for carrying a higher virus load," she said. "I will never take an abortion tainted vaccine."
The civil servant, who often drops into St. Peter's Basilica to spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, said she would have to pay 60 euros to get tested to enter her own Church just for prayer if she didn't attend Mass.
However, sources at the current papal residence told Church Militant several residents are not vaccinated and continue to live in close proximity with Pope Francis and even dine together in the same refectory.
In February, the Vatican City State became the first country in the world to issue a decree threatening legally mandatory vaccinations and suggesting that employees could lose their job if they refuse to take the jab.
After a tsunami of negative publicity in the international media, the Vatican issued a damage control document toning down its earlier "no jab, no job" decree, explaining that its legislation should not be viewed as an instrument of "a sanctioning or punitive nature."
Last month, pontifical universities in Rome adopted Italy's Green Pass, coercing students and staff to take the jab or pay for expensive testing every 48 hours if they wish to teach or attend lectures or use the library or refectory, Church Militant reported.
In an exclusive interview with Church Militant Tuesday, inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology Dr. Robert Malone warned that mandated vaccinations failed to "respect the sanctity of the individual and their body."
The internationally renowned vaccinologist and medical doctor is urging Pope Francis to reconsider his vaccine extremism by giving individuals the freedom of choice to accept or reject medical intervention.
The current decree follows Pope Francis' public demonization of traditionalist and Vatican resident Cdl. Raymond Burke who, on moral grounds, has refused to take the vaccine.
"In the College of Cardinals, there are a few deniers. One of them, the poor man, contracted the virus," the pontiff told reporters Wednesday as he flew home from a trip to Slovakia.
"But one of them, poor thing, has been hospitalized with the virus. These are the ironies of life," Francis mocked, without referring to Burke by name.
Burke, a conscientious objector to the jab, was hospitalized last month after contracting the virus but has since recovered. Catholics on social media blasted Francis for his "low blow" and "unprincipled attack," calling it "very unbecoming for a man in his position."
On Friday, the Canadian archdiocese of Moncton in New Brunswick became the first in the world to ban the unvaccinated from attending Holy Mass, Church Militant reported.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has ruled "vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary."