February 2021: Vatican announces sanctions for employees who refuse to get vaccinated

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February was a busy month at the Vatican, as pandemic restrictions were slowly lifted. On Feb. 1, the Vatican Museums reopened after being closed for nearly three months.

The Vatican modified its penal code to favor convicts' reinsertion into society, which Pope Francis has consistently supported. With the change, convicts who show good conduct can have their sentences reduced by 45 to 120 days for every year of the sentence already completed.

The Vatican also announced that Vatican employees who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine without a justifiable reason could lose their jobs.

Despite a decrease in infections, the world continued to struggle under the economic and political crises aggravated by the health emergency. Pope Francis remained attentive to the different communities affected.

“My thoughts go out to all those who have been affected: to the musicians, who have seen their lives and professions disrupted by the demands of distancing.”

This year, the Pope celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter's Square instead of the usual Basilica of St. Sabina.

In mid-February, he participated in the annual spiritual exercises. But because of the pandemic, the Pope stayed in Rome instead of joining the rest of the Roman Curia at the usual retreat house.

At his annual meeting with ambassadors, which was postponed because of the pandemic and then because of the Pope's sciatica, Pope Francis shared some of his biggest concerns, including an “educational catastrophe,” a rise in cybercrime and a lack of collaboration in solving global problems.

“The inability to seek common and shared solutions to the problems afflicting our world. This has been a growing trend, one that is becoming more and more widespread also in countries with a long tradition of democracy.”

He prayed for Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Luca Attanasio, Italian military police officer Vittorio Iacovacci and driver Mustapha Milambo, who were killed in a violent attack in the African country.

And he continued to pray for stability in Myanmar after the country's military overthrew its elected leaders.


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