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Catholic priests, vaccinated servants but no mandate for the congregation

As the nation prepares for a return to church services, the Catholic Church has said its priests, waiters, choir members and others attending services are vaccinated against COVID-19, however, there is no mandate for participants to be vaccinated.

In an update with guidance before resuming in-person services, the Church said:

Following the sound advice of public health professionals, this is the mandate of the Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, that the following members of our congregations are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before exercise their respective functions in the church:

  • Celebrant, i.e. priest, deacon
  • Eucharistic ministers or anyone distributing Holy Communion
  • Members of the host team, including those who check off participants who pre-recorded
  • Choir members
  • Readers

These people, that is, the ordained ministers, the commissioned ministers and the laity, are the hosts to the congregation during Holy Mass. Their varied roles require movement throughout the building with multiple points of contact, i.e. multiple interactions with a number of faithful and among themselves.

Vaccination of these key members adds a layer of physical protection that benefits all parties. In summary, this policy has been put in place out of excess of caution for all and for the common good. “

The Church said, however, that it continues to advocate for members to be vaccinated, and as such, it is not mandatory for members to be fully vaccinated to attend Mass:

“Our Church continues to advocate for the population to be vaccinated against COVID-19 virus as clear evidence that the vast majority of those who die or have became seriously ill as a result of infection with the virus, were not vaccinated.

“Therefore, except as noted above, it is not mandatory to be fully immunized to attend Mass.”

For the full list of guidelines see here:

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