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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

For the First Time in Canada, Catholic nurse wins right to religious exemption

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For the First Time in Canada, Catholic nurse wins right to religious exemption

The National Post reports: A Catholic nurse in Ontario had a right to a religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccination because of the link between the shots and aborted fetuses, an arbitrator has ruled in one of the first legal pronouncements on the issue.

Pope Francis and other Catholic leaders have urged adherents to get COVID shots, with the pontiff suggesting it is a “moral obligation.” The fact some vaccines were developed or made with cell lines derived from fetuses terminated decades ago does not mean Catholics are condoning abortion, they say.

Public Health Sudbury discriminated against the unnamed nurse — a member of the conservative “Latin Mass” group of Catholics — when it fired her for not being immunized.

But arbitrator Robert Herman said Public Health Sudbury discriminated against the unnamed nurse — a member of the conservative “Latin Mass” group of Catholics — when it fired her for not being immunized.

COVID vaccination would interfere with “the exercise of her faith and her relationship with the divine,” he said.

Vaccine mandates have gradually been lifted throughout Canada and employees have always been able to at least apply for a religious exemption, with no guarantee of success.

But the ruling last month, largely overlooked outside the northern Ontario city, may be the first in Canada to offer some legal clarity on when such exemptions are justified.

Herman said there were inconsistencies in the nurse’s testimony, such as the fact she had opposed the COVID vaccine months before learning about the fetal connection, but that ultimately didn’t matter.

“It is unlikely that (the nurse) has fabricated or simply ‘latched’ on to a creed-based claim for an exemption in order to avoid getting vaccinated,” he said. “It is unlikely that a long-standing devout member of the Latin Mass community has in effect fabricated the assertion that her faith requires this of her.”

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Last modified on Tuesday, July 19, 2022