VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican has published new rules reinforcing the use of the "Super Green Pass," despite Italy announcing it had ended major COVID-19 restrictions on March 31.
On Wednesday, Pope Francis' second-in-command, Cdl. Pietro Parolin, issued a fresh decree restating earlier emergency orders and insisting that the Vatican's vaccine regime would continue due to the continuation of the coronavirus crisis.
Sources said that Vatican secretary of state Parolin was doubling down on the Holy See's vaccine mandate to save face after Church Militant broke the story of Cdl. Parolin personally intervening to bar Cdl. Raymond Burke from entering a Vatican dicastery.
The new decree provides for the Vatican Gendarmerie to "activate all forms of verification of compliance with health requirements without prejudice."
"Church Militant's story has no doubt caused Parolin a degree of embarrassment. He now wants to demonstrate his impartiality and show that he wasn't targeting Burke personally," a Vatican source said.
"What other explanation could there be for issuing a new decree which, in any case, is going to expire in just 10 days? It's even more puzzling since the earlier decrees are still in force and have not been rescinded," the source added.
Parolin's decree refers to a March 30 order from the president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State that extends all restrictions until April 30 for personnel and visitors to the sovereign city-state.
However, the March 30 order was also published on Wednesday at the same time as the new decree, and there is no previous mention of it in the Vatican's official publications — including its newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
The provisions of the March 30 order "apply to all personnel (superiors, officials and auxiliaries) of the dicasteries, bodies and offices of the Roman Curia and of institutions connected to the Holy See."
The Super Green Pass requires all Vatican personnel to be double-jabbed and boosted. Those who have recovered from COVID are covered for six months.
Sources at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints told Church Militant that Burke, a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was stopped at the entrance to the building because he did not possess a Green Pass.
While Burke was kept waiting at the door, security contacted the authorities heading the dicastery that oversees the complex process for the canonization of saints.
The prefect of the congregation is Cdl. Marcello Semeraro, one of Francis' most-trusted advisers. In October, the pope conferred a red hat on the former bishop of Albano — a week after appointing him prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, where he replaced the disgraced Cdl. Angelo Becciu.
Sources confirmed there was a phone call from the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to Cdl. Parolin's office, and that Parolin had personally ordered that Burke be refused entry into the building.
Burke has also been refused entry into other offices of the Holy See — even though the cardinal resides in an apartment within the sovereign territory of Vatican City State.
"Burke took a solemn oath of obedience to the pope. Where does 'obey the pope' come in? Francis has said we should all get the vaccine. He called it an act of love. He's lamented the folly of Cdl. Burke's refusal to get the vaccine," Mike Lewis, editor of the liberal blog Where Peter Is tweeted Wednesday.
"You don't seriously believe obedience to the pope includes letting him decide what medicine we should take?" a commenter asked.
The Italian government has announced the end of the Green Pass regime at the end of April and will lift all restrictions, including face coverings for closed places and public transport, on May 1.
In January, Parolin backed the Pfizer vaccine, claiming that the jab giant used "cell lines from aborted fetuses only in the preliminary stages of vaccine testing in the laboratory" and that "no cell lines from aborted fetuses are included in either the composition or production."
"Therefore, it seems that not wanting to undergo vaccination with this motivation cannot be justified, since the vaccine that is currently used is precisely the Pfizer that uses the mRNA method" of using fetal cells for testing, Parolin insisted.
Parolin's endorsement of Pfizer comes two months after Project Veritas released a devastating exposé of top company officials and leaked emails revealing Pfizer was using aborted fetal tissue in its vaccine program.
"HEK-293T cells, used for the IVE assay, are ultimately derived from an aborted fetus," Pfizer chief scientific officer Philip Dormitzer admitted. "On the other hand, the Vatican doctrinal committee has confirmed that they consider it acceptable for pro-life believers to be immunized."