Bishop Paprocki has given us the following guidelines in light of the governor’s mandate:
- Noting that some people may be excused from wearing a face covering for medical reasons, no one is to be excluded from attending Mass for not wearing a face covering.
- Since the sanctuary of the church is not a public place, priests, deacons, and lectors are not expected to wear face coverings while fulfilling their functions at Mass, since this would interfere with their public speaking and the performance of their liturgical roles.
- Moral objections of conscience should be respected, but should not require a letter from a priest or other clergyman, since the objection is based on the person’s individual personal conscience, not some specific tenet of the Catholic faith.
- A link is provided for the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s Vaccine Exemption Template Letter for Catholics who themselves seek an exemption from an immunization requirement.
- In the event, however, that an employer requires a letter from the clergy, the essential point for which the attestation of a Catholic priest might be helpful is therefore the primacy of conscience. As noted above, a sample letter for your use is attached.