All of us are deeply concerned about the news that Ontario’s pediatric hospitals are being overwhelmed by the current “tripledemic” surge of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). As Christians, we are called to care for the vulnerable in our midst.
Together with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the other dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario and the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, we are strongly recommending the wearing of masks in indoor public settings, including in our church buildings. We are continuing to stay in the Green Stage of the Loving Our Neighbour COVID-19 protocols, but we ask that every parish review their gathering practices for worship, business and social reasons, and consider the safety and comfort of all. Some parishes have never lifted their mask mandates, while others are re-introducing them at this time. Parishes may voluntarily choose to impose or re-instate mask protocols as is appropriate and comfortable for them. The College of Bishops supports all those parishes that choose to exceed provincial guidelines and voluntarily return to our Amber Stage or Spring Guidelines.
As always, the Diocese of Toronto will comply with any government or health restrictions as they are enacted. We will communicate that compliance promptly when it becomes necessary.
As we come to the end of another difficult year, may God grant that we not tire of caring for our neighbours, but rather work towards the Reign of Christ when all will be reconciled in Him and in true wholeness and health.
The Bishop’s Office