CV NEWS FEED // A new decree from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin announced that personnel without required COVID-19 documents will not be allowed to come to work, and will also receive no further pay.
Parolin wrote the decree in reference to an earlier announcement of restrictions, including the establishment of a “green card” requirement for entry into the Vatican State.
The “obligation to possess the certifications indicated in Article 1 of the aforementioned Ordinance applies to all personnel (Superiors, Officials and Auxiliaries) of the Dicasteries, Organisms and Offices that make up the Roman Curia and the Institutions connected with the Holy See,” Parolin wrote in the new decree, according to a translation by journalist Bree Dail, “and extends to external collaborators and those who, for any other reason, carry out activities at the same Institutions, to the personnel of external firms and to all visitors and users;”
“With the exception of the checks carried out by the Gendarmerie [Vatican law enforcement],” Parolin wrote,
each individual organization is required to check compliance with the regulations, establishing the operating procedures for organizing such checks and identifying the parties responsible for ascertaining and challenging violations of the obligations, on the basis of the provisions of Law no. LIV on the protection of the health and safety of workers in the workplace….
Personnel without green passes “may, as an alternative, present a certificate of negativity” issued “in Italy after a rapid molecular or antigenic test, with the frequency indicated by the Health and Hygiene Directorate of the Governorate of Vatican City State.” Those who opt for the proof-of-negativity must pay for the tests themselves, Parolin decreed.
Personnel “not in possession of the necessary certifications cannot access the workplace and must be considered unjustly absent,” the cardinal wrote. “For the entire duration of the absence, no pay is due,” although the absent personnel will continue to receive other customary benefits unrelated to work, such as welfare payments.
Parolin also wrote that his own office, the Secretariat of State, would be responsible for evaluating requests for exemptions, and would obtain “the opinion of the Health and Hygiene Directorate” before pronouncing on the requests.
Parolin added that all the new rules are “subject to any further restrictions that the competent Vatican health authorities deem it necessary to place on persons coming from countries with a high risk of contagion….”
As CatholicVote reported when the Vatican first announced new restrictions earlier this month, many will view the move unfavorably:
“There have been zero deaths from #Covid at the Vatican since the pandemic began,” wrote National Catholic Register Rome Correspondent Edward Pentin, “and the last reported Covid case on Vatican soil was nearly a year ago.
The Vatican’s new green pass requirement will likely stir more controversy in the coming weeks. Similar mandates for the controversial identifiers have already driven mass protests throughout Europe, with thousands marching in the streets of major cities in France, Italy, the UK, and elsewhere.
Readers can find Cardinal Parolin’s full statement, as translated by Bree Dail, below.