A Vermont priest is fighting his diocese over an attempt to remove him from his parish for refusing to take an abortion-tainted COVID-19 jab or submit to mask and testing requirements.
Father Peter Williams has served as pastor of Holy Family parish in the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont for nearly 20 years. But in a video earlier this month, he revealed that his bishop is now trying to suspend him because of his resistance to punitive COVID restrictions for unvaccinated clergy.
In a September letter, pro-LGBT, dissident Bishop Christopher Coyne declared that priests who reject COVID-19 vaccination must wear a mask during all celebrations of the Sacraments and any interactions with individuals as part of their pastoral ministry. Un-jabbed clergy must also be tested for coronavirus every other week, the bishop decreed, warning priests that “choosing not to be vaccinated, as with all choices in life, has ramifications.”
Bishop Joseph Strickland posted the following Tweet in support of Fr. Williams.
Please pray for this priest & so many others caught up in similar situations. Pray that priests & bishops may be drawn close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Living close to His Heart in the Eucharist is our greatest hope for peace & Justice. https://t.co/ZtshToiOMo
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) January 19, 2022
Bishop Coyne is one of the bishops who has refused to support religious exemptions related to the COVID jab (see all bishops’ positions).