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Archbishop Cordileone quickly shot back on his Twitter account: “Representatives in Congress: you have free will. Use it today to vote no to legalizing the killing of babies even weeks from birth. You have a choice. Give it to unborn babies, too.”
The new Vatican policy, which takes effect October 1, requires visitors to prove either that they are vaccinated against Covid, or have recovered from the disease, or have recently tested negative for the virus. The policy allows an exception for those participating in liturgical ceremonies inside the Vatican, “for the time strictly necessary for the performance of the rite.”
The policy was issued by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, who at the age of 79 will soon step down as head of the Vatican city-state governorate, at the request of Pope Francis, who had authorized “all appropriate measures” to curb the epidemic. Coincidentally, Cardinal Bertello’s resignation will take effect on October 1, the day the new policy takes effect.
7August 11 general audience on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and the Mosaic law, Pope Francis said, “The Law, however, does not give life, it does not offer the fulfillment of the promise because it is not capable of being able to fulfill it. . . . .Those who seek life need to look to the promise and to its fulfillment in Christ.”
Rabbi Rasson Arousi, chair of the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for Dialogue with the Holy See, spoke on behalf of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in responding, “The Pope presents the Christian faith as not just superseding the Torah; but asserts that the latter no longer gives life, implying that Jewish religious practice in the present era is rendered obsolete. This is in effect part and parcel of the ‘teaching of contempt’ towards Jews and Judaism that we had thought had been fully repudiated by the Church.”
Responding indirectly to the Chief Rabbinate’s concerns, the Vatican has published “Law and grace for Jews and Christians,” a brief article by Argentine Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, a close collaborator with the Pope. Archbishop Fernández writes that “Jewish traditions also recognize that fulfilling the Law in its entirety requires a transformation that starts in the heart.”