The Vatican issued a decree saying employees who do not get the COVID-19 vaccine would lose their jobs, before walking back the statement amid widespread criticism.
The Feb. 8 edict by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the governor of Vatican City, said that workers who refused to get a vaccination without sufficient reason would be subject to a 2011 law that calls for “varying degrees of consequences that could lead to dismissal.”
Thousands of workers commute to the small city-state from Italy, and many Italians took to social media to slam the order, calling it unmerciful, and at odds with the teachings of Pope Francis.
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On Thursday night, Bertello said that “alternative solutions” would be found for government employees who refuse to get the vaccine.
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Pope Francis holds his pastoral staff as he arrives to celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 29, 2020.AP Photo/Gregorio