New Zealand Bishops offer separate Masses to vaccinated and unvaccinated

Separate Masses will be held in New Zealand according to whether the attendees have a vaccine cert or not.

The announcement by the country’s Catholic bishop is in response to new Government guidelines that allow greater numbers to attend events for the vaccinated.

Each parish will be asked to provide Mass for people with the “My Vaccine Pass” required for unrestricted gatherings under the Orange and Green traffic light settings. Parishes will also be asked to provide the opportunity for people to attend a separate numbers-restricted Mass without providing proof of vaccination.

All lay people who help with Mass and all other public-facing ministries will need to be vaccinated for vaccinated-only work. Priests are being asked to be vaccinated, and will be limited in their ministry if they are not.

The Government says the “traffic light” system will start soon after 29 November. The vaccine passes required for unrestricted entry to many places are available for downloading now.

Under guidelines made public so far, the system will allow unrestricted numbers of vaccinated people to gather in a church under the Orange and Green settings, but restrict numbers without a vaccine pass to 50 (Orange) or 100 (Green). Under the Red setting, 100 can attend Mass with a vaccine pass, and 10 at a Mass without a pass.