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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican City State has become 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.
The Legal Decree CCCXCVIII on Public Health Emergency, published Feb. 8, rules that Vatican health authorities "may deem it necessary to implement a prophylaxis entailing the administration of a vaccine in order to protect the health of citizens, residents, workers and the work community."
The legislation states that employees "who, for proven health reasons, cannot undergo the administration of the vaccine" may be assigned "to different, equivalent or, failing that, inferior tasks, guaranteeing the remuneration corresponding to the duties of origin."
The law makes no exception for "conscientious objectors" to the abortion-tainted Pfizer-BioNTech jab, instead ruling that "the worker who without proven health reasons refuses to undergo them is subject to the provisions of article 6 of the Rules for the Protection of Human Dignity and Fundamental Rights."
Article 6 of the above 2009 Vatican legislation, while not specifying vaccination, states:
The refusal to undergo preventive or periodic examinations provided for and the medical examinations of the office, as well as the renunciation of the continuation of the preventive, periodic or ex officio examination already begun, entail consequences for employees of various degrees that can go as far as interruption of the employment relationship. For job holders, this is equivalent to renouncing the employment relationship.
Meanwhile, Italian epidemiologist Professor Paolo Gulisano revealed that "the controversial 'vaccination card' has already been created to prove the vaccination has taken place."
The decree goes against a December statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) "on the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines" clarifying that "vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary."
The Vatican's latest decree, filed under the category of General Regulations on the Legislation and Regulations page of the Vatican City State government website and signed by the president of the Pontifical Commission of the Vatican City State Cdl. Giuseppe Bertello, has taken employees and residents by surprise.
Multiple sources working in the Vatican told Church Militant they were unaware of the "clandestine" legislation and no email or letter had been sent out to employees of the Holy See or the Roman Curia.
"The decree provides that the 'Superior Authority' of any employee has the discretion to decide if vaccination is 'necessary' ('puo ritenere necessario)," a Rome-based canonist told Church Militant, remarking that it was "a very powerful tool to purge undesirables who were refusing to take the vaccine."
It also appears, but it is not entirely certain because it is unclear, that a monetary administrative fine can be imposed on those employees who do not agree to be vaccinated, and do not provide 'demonstrated' medical reasons for not being vaccinated. There is no standard, across-the-board mandatory requirement for everyone who works for the Vatican City State to be vaccinated. However, the legal premises for an employee able to be ordered individually to undergo vaccination are clearly set forth in the decree.
The expert in canon law suggested that the only way around this for objectors would be to obtain a medical certificate from a "willing doctor" certifying that the vaccination for the patient was "counter indicative."
Sources working in the Vatican clarified that so far there had been no pressure put on them by higher-ups to take the vaccine, except for the usual mild chitchat over coffee about who had or had not taken the vaccine.
Vatican employees, however, did express a deep concern that the legislation was a form of "weaponized ambiguity" and was preparing the ground for forced vaccination.
"Yes, I would feel threatened after reading the decree. I would also feel very humiliated at being assigned an inferior role simply because I was unable to take the vaccine for health reasons," a female employee said, calling it "a form of persecution."
"Despite Pope Francis' feminist rhetoric, the decree does not take pregnant women into consideration, even though Pfizer-BioNTech have themselves advised expectant mothers not to take the vaccine," she added.
The new decree cites a string of laws, deducing that "providing a health response, taking the actions immediately necessary to respond to the pandemic, while also keeping in mind its long-term effects, is important so that a global and regenerative 'healing' can take place."
Considering this, "it is deemed that to undergo vaccination constitutes 'the taking of a responsible decision, given that the refusal of the vaccine may also constitute a risk to others' and 'that such a refusal could seriously increase risks to public health.'"
Therefore, it rules, "there is an urgent need to issue these provisions with the force of law, pursuant to Article 7, paragraph 2, of the Fundamental Law of the Vatican City State, of November 26, 2000."
Article 7, paragraph 2, gives full legislative power to the cardinal president of Pontifical Commission of the Vatican City State "in cases of urgent necessity" to "issue provisions having the force of law, which however lose their effect if they are not confirmed by the Commission within ninety days."
However, Pope Francis as "the Supreme Pontiff, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, has full legislative, executive and judicial powers" and is ultimately and fully responsible for the decree.
Sources close to the Vatican, including a distinguished authority in international law, told Church Militant that the new decree has been intentionally worded ambiguously for fear of running afoul of the Council of Europe's (CoE) January decree prohibiting compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations.
Church Militant first published the story on the CoE Resolution 2361 (2021) ordering governments to ensure "that citizens are informed that the vaccination is NOT mandatory and that no one is politically, socially, or otherwise pressured to get themselves vaccinated, if they do not wish to do so themselves."
Church Militant's Rome Bureau also broke the story on the Holy See Press Office making it compulsory for journalists accompanying Pope Francis on his March trip to Iraq to be vaccinated.
"In order to participate in the Apostolic Journey of the Holy Father Francis in Iraq, it is necessary to have undergone the vaccination against COVID-19 within the appropriate time," the Vatican, which has observer status at the CoE, announced.
We contacted the Vatican's press office for a response to the latest decree but there was no response as of press time.
Our Rome Bureau has also been in touch with Vatican resident Cdl. Raymond Burke — an opponent of forced vaccination — requesting his response to the decree.
"It must be clear that vaccination itself cannot be imposed, in a totalitarian manner, on citizens," Burke declaimed in a May address to the Rome Life Forum.
Forced vaccination by the State "violates the integrity of its citizens," Burke stressed. "While the State can provide reasonable regulations for the safeguarding of health, it is not the ultimate provider of health. God is. Whatever the State proposes must respect God and His Law."
Britain's largest trade union, UNISON, has written to care minister Helen Whately urging the U.K. government to "send a strong message to employers that putting pressure on staff to take the vaccine as a condition of their work is totally unacceptable."