Friday, August 12, 2022

This Saturday Saint was an anti-pope but all ends well

 

St. Hippolytus




Martyr of Rome, with Concordia and other companions, he is a controversial figure who censured Pope St. Callistus I. Hippolytus was slain in Sardinia where he had been exiled for being elected as an antipope, the first in the history of the Church. He was reconciled to the Church before his martyrdom. His writings were important, including A Refutation of All Heresies, Song of Songs, and The Apostolic Tradition.

 

This Saturday Saint was the Pope

St. Pontian



Pontian, Roman by birth, was elected to the papacy in 230 and was pope at the time that a synod condemned Origen as a priest and as a teacher. Five years after his consecration, Pontian was arrested and exiled to Sardina, with Hippolytus, the antipope. The two were reconsiled in the mines. Pontian died that year. Pope Fabian (236-250) translated the relics of the pope and the antipope to Rome. The two now share the same feast day, 13 August.

According to Iraqi nun, the Pope's visit to Iraq gave life back to the Church of Iraq

 

Ibtisam Habib Gorgis, a Franciscan Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Heart of MaryIbtisam Habib Gorgis, a Franciscan Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 

Sister Ibtisam: ‘Pope Francis gave life back to Church in Iraq’

Ibtisam Habib Gorgis, a Franciscan Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, born in Qaraqosh, Iraq, recounts her vocation and the impact of Pope Francis' Apostolic Visit in 2021.

By Roberto Cetera – Jerusalem

Ibtisam Habib Gorgis is an Iraqi nun who belongs to the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We meet her in Jerusalem, where she is staying for a short period to do spiritual exercises.

She has a contagious smile, flowing speech, and a face that radiates serenity and inner peace, in spite of the atrocities that the war in her country has forced her to witness.

“I was born and raised in Qaraqosh”, an Assyrian town in northern Iraq, which is only 30 km from Mosul, and close to the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh. The dialect spoken there is a derivation of Aramaic.

“We speak Jesus’ language”, she says proudly, but she also speaks fluent and correct Italian, which she learned during her novitiate years. Qaraqosh is a small Christian enclave in northern Iraq, of both Assyrian and Chaldean tradition, but, she says, “we have always lived in peace and mutual respect with our Muslim neighbours”.

Q: How is it that an Iraqi girl decides to become a nun?

In truth, I had never thought about it, because although I live in a patriarchal and traditional environment, I have always been very independent. I am very jealous of my freedom. Even now (she laughs) that I wear this veil.

Q: So how did it happen?

I was attending the Catholic group of university students, where I was studying biology. At that time, I must say, we did not live badly: after the first Gulf War, we were isolated from the world, we did not understand what was happening outside our borders, but we lived in peace.

Tāreq ‘Azīz, the Foreign Minister — who was actually Prime Minister — was a Chaldean Christian and came from Tel Keppe, which is very close to Qaraqosh. There was one thing I really liked about my involvement among young Catholics: helping the poor. I found pleasure in doing good. It was not an egocentric gratification; rather, it gave me an inner peace, it gave me back the truest sense of humanity: living with others and for others.

But I still couldn’t find a place where I could fully fulfil myself. A Franciscan friar came to visit us. I was deeply impressed; I read the life of Saint Francis and a small light lit up in my heart. Then two Italian nuns came and invited me to visit their convent in Jordan. By then, I was at what we call the age of marriage, but... but I wanted to be free. When my family sensed that I was looking elsewhere, they were not happy.

“This is my daughter, not yours”, my father said to the nuns at the doorstep, preventing them from entering. Eventually, after much insistence, he gave in and let me leave for Jordan. My uncle accompanied me on the journey, which lasted 18 hours because of the embargo our country was under.

Entry (into the Congregation) was not easy; I didn’t understand the language very well, I had to learn Italian, the nuns followed the Syriac rite and not the Latin one, so I didn’t understand anything at Mass, Lauds or Vespers, and above all, it was a lifestyle I did not know.

The point of no return, which may seem silly, was when they cut my hair; a real break with my previous life. But despite all the difficulties to overcome, I felt a growing inner peace. Changes in life usually create restlessness, anxiety; but this change, although so radical, on the other hand aroused such peace in me.

We were four girls from Qaraqosh, and that was a comfort to me; there was someone I could at least talk to and be understood. After nine months, they allowed me to go home and see my parents, and then they sent me to Italy to do my novitiate.

Q: Did you go back to the Middle East after?

Yes. First, I was sent to the Holy Land, to Bethlehem and Nazareth, and then to Baghdad, where for three years I worked on the educational front.

All until that terrible 6 August 2014. I was in my hometown. Daesh (so-called Islamic State) had entered the Nineveh region. There was no more water or light in the houses. Then we heard an explosion. A house on the outskirts had been hit by a missile. We rushed there and found only rubble and corpses. After the dead were buried, the great flight began.

Fifty thousand people, without religious or political distinction, left their homes and the city. The horror stories coming to us from the areas already occupied by Daesh left no other option but to flee. Upon entering Qaraqosh, Daesh should have found no one. We used all means to help as many people as possible escape. From the entire Nineveh region 120,000 people headed towards Kurdistan.

We sisters stayed until the end, partly to help the displaced people and partly because we did not know where to go. We slept on the streets so as to be ready to flee. Then the Bishop ordered us to leave. We were the last to leave Qaraqosh. We left around 2 o’clock at night, and by 5 a.m., the first Daesh troops occupied the city. When the militiamen entered a town, they gave three options: either you become Muslim, or you pay us, or we kill you. Almost every family has a dead person to mourn. A quarter of the houses were burnt down, all ransacked and the churches destroyed.

We worked with the whole Catholic Church to help the displaced people, who lived for months under tents or in makeshift dwellings. Then we were sent back to the Holy Land, crossing the Jordanian border. It was a night that lasted more than two years. Qaraqosh was liberated on 19 October 2016, with the battle of Mosul. After that date, some of the inhabitants began to return. But many, especially those who had found refuge abroad, never returned. Today the situation is still painful, reconstruction is slow, there is no work, there is so much poverty.

Q: And what are you doing today, Sister Ibtisam?

Today I am back in my country. Together with two sisters, I run a kindergarten with over 500 children.

Pope Francis’ visit last year was a fundamental step in our experience. He gave us a breath of fresh air; for the first time in years, we felt that there is someone who really cares about us, someone who loves us. He made us feel that we are a precious value to the Church. We are alive and we have faith.

He made us feel proud to be near those who practice other religions, with the Muslims who had also fled like us from the atrocities of Daesh. It was only when we saw and touched Pope Francis in this land, here beside us, that we realised it was over. It was truly over, and now we can turn the page.

Pope Francis did not merely “visit”; he restored us to life.

Proposed laws prepared to cover the retirement of a Pope

 

Stepping down: Experts draft proposed laws on status of a retired pope

 


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ plans to visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila and its basilica Aug. 28 fueled speculation of a possible announcement of his resignation, which he has firmly denied.

L’Aquila’s basilica is the burial place of St. Celestine V, who issued a decree declaring the right of a pope to voluntarily resign, and then he did so in 1294. It was also where — on top of Pope Celestine’s glass casket — then-Pope Benedict XVI left his woolen pallium he had worn during his installation Mass — a gesture many wondered had been a sign of his resignation to come four years later.

In the more than 700 years that have passed since St. Celestine established this legal precedent, the right of a pope to resign remains ensured in church law.

The law is not very detailed, saying only that the decision must be made freely and “duly manifested,” and no one needs to formally accept a pope’s resignation for it to be valid.

That means nothing in canon law covers the legal status of the bishop of Rome who resigns from his office: What is his title, name, place of residence and means of support? What is his relationship with his successor, his role, responsibilities and powers in the church? And how is his funeral and burial to be carried out? These are just some of the questions canon lawyers would like answers to as part of their task of avoiding confusion, promoting unity and protecting the dignity and rights of a retired pope in the wings.

One canon lawyer and consultor of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts said the “obvious symbolism” of visiting L’Aquila would be the perfect opportunity for the pope to finally promulgate legislation needed to fill many gaps regarding a pope who resigns.

The canonist, Geraldina Boni, told Catholic News Service, “It is no longer inconceivable for a pope to resign, with this door having been ‘opened,’ as Francis himself has said several times.”

However, “this situation must be regulated” along with what to do when a pope is unable to govern the universal Church when he is completely, permanently and irreversibly impeded or impaired because of a debilitating illness or other conditions, she said in an email response to questions in early August.

Boni is a professor of canon law at the University of Bologna’s prestigious “Alma Mater Studiorum.” She and other canonists launched a project in 2021 to draft legislative proposals that could be studied and discussed on an online platform with the aim of presenting the suggestions to “the supreme legislator,” the pope, for his consideration.

The proposed norms can be found at progettocanonicosederomana.com with a proposed “apostolic constitution” to regulate an entirely impeded Roman See and one on the legal status or “canonical condition of the bishop of Rome who resigned his office.”

The Church owes tremendous gratitude to the shepherd who, “moved by faith and love for Jesus Christ, decided to accept and carry out, maybe for many years, the hard and difficult burden of the Roman pontificate,” the proposal on resignations says.

Therefore, it says, “rather than binding prescriptions drawn out of the canonical legislation, these provisions mainly include some appropriate orientations that will have to be applied with caution,” and they are intended to be “especially respectful of the personal dignity” of the retired pope.

Many of the suggestions mirror the approaches most often taken by retired Pope Benedict, who had to trailblaze a path forward when he stepped down.

For example, the proposal says “the manifestation of the resignation must preferably be put into writing and ordinarily presented in a consistory of the College of Cardinals or in another way that makes it publicly knowable.”

Also, “the name of the one who resigned can be the same that he used during his office,” he “may use the white cassock that Roman pontiffs usually wear” and he may reside where he chooses, including Vatican City. The papal “fisherman’s ring” and the seal used to issue papal documents must also be destroyed, the proposal says.

But the biggest departure in the proposal from what Pope Benedict has done regards the retired pope’s title.

Instead of “pope emeritus,” the proposal says the retired pontiff “receives the title of bishop emeritus of Rome” and he “uses the ring that every bishop must wear.” Some photos of the retired pope show him wearing his gold cardinal’s ring.

“The bishop emeritus of Rome does not assume or regain the dignity of cardinal nor the functions that are attached to it,” the proposal says, adding, “however, in liturgical and canonical matters the bishop emeritus of Rome has the privileges and faculties attributed to cardinals.”

The title, “pope emeritus,” has been a point of debate for some canonists, including Cardinal-designate Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a Jesuit theologian and canon lawyer who will be one of four new cardinals aged 80 or over Pope Francis will elevate Aug. 27 as a symbolic honor to thank him for his service to the Church.

At a two-day congress on the historical and canonical aspects of a papal resignation, held in L’Aquila last December, Cardinal-designate Ghirlanda said, “Having two people with the title of ‘pope,’ even if one added ’emeritus,’ it cannot be said that this might not generate confusion in public opinion.”

The idea of more than one pope at one time “dangerously mixes up the precise meaning of the Petrine ministry, which is that of being a sign of unity of the Church, therefore, one sign of unity of the Church,” he said in his talk.

He said retired Pope Benedict has a “deeply spiritual and mystical” understanding of his papal election in that one may resign from the office and continue to “carry out a function that is also part of the Petrine ministry,” such as a dedication to prayer.

Even though he believes the retired pope did not intend to be making some kind of “dogmatic or canonical” statement with his title, the cardinal-designate said a canon lawyer has to look at “the practical consequences of a theoretical statement: What does this imply? What really happens?”

Theoretical assertions “cannot be valid,” he said, if they contradict “the purpose for which one has an institution in the Church, particularly institutions of divine right,” he said. Such assertions “must be corrected or at least interpreted in such a way that they do not create misunderstandings and misinterpretations with serious repercussions for the life of the Church.”

“The title ‘former Roman pontiff’ or ‘former supreme pontiff’ could also have been given” to indicate the person who resigned is no longer pope, he said.

Boni told CNS, “We will see if the work done by us university professors has been considered — even in criticizing it or departing from it — by the eventual drafters of any papal legislation.”

“Certainly the wide debate that has built up on the issue has helped dismantle a taboo that had no reason to exist,” she said.

Some findings disclosed from German consultation and synodal process

 

German Catholics want expanded lay roles, greater tolerance for dissent

ROME – In a new report summarizing the conclusions of a national consultation process among German Catholics, the country’s bishops state a desire for greater inclusion in the church of women and laypeople generally, as well as those who disagree on certain moral teachings.

Titled “For a synodal Church – community, participation and mission,” the report summarizes the conclusions of the German bishops’ conference’s “Synodal Path” sent to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, ahead of a Synod of Bishops on Synodality at the Vatican next year.

An English translation of the report can be found here: www.dbk.de/fileadmin/redaktion/diverse_downloads/presse_2022/2022-114eng-Report-of-the-German-Bishops-Conference-to-the-World-Synod-of-Bishops-2023.pdf

The 13-page report is divided into two sections, the first of which reflects on Germany’s own experiences with synodal consultations carried out at the diocesan and archdiocesan level, as well as the national level of the bishops’ conference.

The second part summarizes feedback from this consultation on 10 topics that were listed in the official manual for consultations in local churches, called the ”Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality.”

Among other things, the report notes that women, youth, and faithful who belong to the church, but who share different views on matters such as same-sex marriage, contraception, and abortion, often feel “marginalized” by their church communities, and that more space should be allowed for hearing their voices.

The report also advocates for laypeople generally, especially women, to have a greater role in certain liturgical celebrations, such as baptisms and funerals, which they said would allow women, and laypeople broadly, more space to interpret the scriptures.

It was also suggested that laypeople be given a greater role in the administration of their parishes, as well as a say in who their pastor is.

Germany’s bishops cite dwindling Mass attendance, falling participation in parochial councils as well as other Catholic associations, and a subsequent decline in revenue from Germany’s church tax system, as among the primary reasons for organizing their synodal path.

Launched in a bid to revitalize the Catholic Church in Germany and restore trust following the publication of a September 2018 church-commissioned report detailing thousands of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests over a span of six decades, the synodal path has largely been aimed at giving laypeople a more prominent role in running the church.

Much of the discussion has taken place in a series of large assemblies drawing both laypeople and bishops alike.

In their report, the German bishops insisted that the main scope of the process was “to address the systemic causes of abuse and its concealment, so that the Gospel can be credibly proclaimed once more in the future.”

They stressed that “the continuity of teaching and the communion of the universal church must be preserved in this process.”

However, the synodal path has become increasingly controversial for the inclusion of outspoken theologians and experts who advocate for the opposite of certain universal teaching, calling for women to be ordained priests and for priests to administer blessings to same sex couples.

There have also been votes in their synodal path in favor of eliminating mandatory priestly celibacy and allowing clergy to marry, and to declare that same-sex marriage is not sinful. The process has also insisted that laity have a greater say in the election of bishops.

Germany’s 22-million strong Catholic Church has an outsized influence on ecclesial affairs given its wealth, derived largely from funds collected as part of Germany’s church tax system.

The Vatican last month issued an unsigned statement warning that Germany’s synodal path risks undermining church unity, and that the undertaking lacks the authority to compel bishops to make changes on doctrine or morality.

In response to the Vatican’s statement, organizers of the synodal path, including German Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, president of the German bishops’ conference, said they were “astonished” at the rebuke, but reaffirmed a bishop’s authority to make pastoral decisions in his own territory, and voiced hope that in the future, contentious matters could be discussed in a more formal setting.

Bätzing also said the proposed reforms of the synodal path would be submitted to the global Synod of Bishops on Synodality, which is currently unfolding in three stages, and which will culminate with a large gathering of bishops in Rome in 2023.

In their summary, the German bishops said reports from dioceses indicated that those who have left the church and those “who are excluded from church offices or ministries,” including women and married men, also feel marginalized, as well as those who “do not belong to the educated middle class,” such as migrants and those impacted by poverty.

They report stressed the importance of listening, even to criticism, saying that listening to the faithful, “as well as to the signs of the times, is seen as the foundation of a synodal process.”

According to the report, faithful also want the church to be more engaged on hot-button topics such as social justice, poverty, climate change, migration, peace issues, and to be more active on social media.

From an outside perspective, the church is seen in the media “as encrusted, overly hierarchical, and old-fashioned,” the report said, saying laypeople – women, young people and volunteers in particular – “want to make themselves heard in the media as the voice of the church in the same way as their bishops.”

Faithful also voiced a desire to have a sincere and open discussion with their leaders “that is free of anxiety,” on topics related to sexuality that are widely considered to be “taboo,” such as contraception, abortion and same-sex marriage.

“Theologians are afraid of having their teaching licenses revoked if they make nuanced, open statements,” while laypeople often “feel inferior to, and frequently not understood by, clerics and other people with a theological background in their ability to speak out and have their say,” the report said.

The bishops said the feedback they received indicated that “high-quality liturgy” is being celebrated in all German dioceses, but given the decline in Mass attendance and the number of priests, there is a disconnect between daily life and Sunday Mass.

“There is a need for an interpretation of the rites, for a concrete, understandable language, for them to be implemented in a manner that relates to the reality of people’s lives, in order to counteract the widespread ‘liturgical illiteracy,’” the bishops said.

To this end, they said several proposals were made to create “a ministry of preaching carried out by laypeople,” as well as “a reform of the lectionary, services in simple language, a culture of welcome, a closing of the gap between the chancel and the congregation.”

Requests were made, the bishops said, for liturgical celebrations led by “appropriately trained women, young people and volunteers.” These liturgical celebrations, they said, include Word of God celebrations, the Liturgy of the Hours, funerals, and digital services.

“The experience from the dioceses suggests that these forms of service allow for more active participation (than in a Eucharist that is perceived as being centered on a priest). They also allow the charism of, for instance, women to be brought to bear in the proclamation and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures,” the report said.

Such liturgical celebrations, it said, “are to be expanded because they keep the worship life alive in places where it is no longer possible for a priest to be in attendance.”

The bishops said there were also explicit requests for marriage support and baptisms to be carried out by laypeople, and said, “Greater diversity overall is called for in both alternative and traditional forms of worship in order to appeal to different groups of faithful.”

On a general level, the report said the church’s “top-down” approach to decision making was criticized by faithful, who called for more responsibility sharing, and suggested that the role of the deacon be expanded.

Women, young people, and volunteers especially took issue with their lack of participation in church life, the report said, and quoted one person as saying, “We don’t want decisions to be made only about us, but with us.”

They suggested a change in attitude, as well as structural changes regarding participation, transparency, and in the selection of bishops and in the appointment of the local parish priests, as well as the time limits for offices and tasks, the control of power and exercise of power, and the detection and punishments for abuses of power when they happen.

The report also called for women to fully participate in next year’s Vatican gathering of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, and to be given voting rights in that context.

Germany’s bishops in the report said multiple requests were made for priests “to be relieved of the leadership of the parish” at an administrative level, allowing them to focus on the sacraments and their role as pastors, allowing competent laypeople to step into administrative roles.

The report closes with a quotation from someone who provided feedback, and who said that if church leaders wish to restore trust, “the bishops need to take up a clear position on the pressing issues of our time, such as equal access for all baptized people to church offices, a reassessment of sexual morality, and a non-discriminatory approach to homosexual and queer people.”

“Taking up a clear position also means speaking a language that people can understand and that does not hide behind convoluted wording,” the person said.

Regarding the abuse scandals, the person said, “there needs to be an unambiguous acceptance of responsibility; power needs to be taken under control, and an attempt made to make amends to the victims of sexual and spiritual abuse.”

A synodal church, they said, “can only be successful if it is possible for all faithful to assume responsibility and partake in decisions at parish and diocesan levels.”

A meeting between the Pope and a ministry group with outreach to transgender people

 

Pope Francis meets transgender guests of Rome church





ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has met with a fourth group of transgender people who found shelter at a Rome church, the Vatican newspaper reported Thursday.

L’Osservatore Romano said the encounter took place Wednesday on the sidelines of Francis’ weekly general audience. The newspaper quoted Sister Genevieve Jeanningros and the Rev. Andrea Conocchia as saying the pope’s welcome brought their guests hope.

The Blessed Immaculate Virgin community in the Torvaianica neighborhood on Rome’s outskirts opened its doors to transgender people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Francis previously met with some of them on April 27, June 22 and Aug. 3, the newspaper said.

“No one should encounter injustice or be thrown away, everyone has dignity of being a child of God,” the paper quoted Sister Jeanningros as saying.

Francis has earned praise from some members of the LBGTQ community for his outreach. When asked in 2013 about a purportedly gay priest, he replied, “Who am I to judge?” He has met individually and in groups with transgender people over the course of his pontificate.

But he has strongly opposed “gender theory” and has not changed church teaching that holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” In 2021, he allowed publication of a Vatican document asserting that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions since “God cannot bless sin.”

Recently, Francis wrote a letter praising the initiative of a Jesuit-run ministry for LGBTQ Catholics, called Outreach. The online resource is run by the Rev. James Martin, author of “Building a Bridge,” a book about the need for the church to better welcome and minister to LGBTQ Catholics.

Francis praised a recent Outreach event at New York’s Jesuit Fordham University, and encouraged organizers “to keep working in the culture of encounter, which shortens the distances and enriches us with differences, in the same manner of Jesus, who made himself close to everyone.”

The first Jesuit pope of the Roman Catholic Church has spoken of his own ministry to gay and transgender people, insisting they are children of God, loved by God and deserving of accompaniment by the church.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Workers denied religious exemption for the Covid vaccine win settlement in court

 

Health care workers denied religious exemption on vaccine win settlement

 
CORONAVIRUS VACCINE
A medical worker administers a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a patient Nov. 17, 2021. (CNS photo/Stephane Mahe, Reuters)
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CHICAGO (CNS) — Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group, announced that a settlement it called historic has been reached with an Illinois hospital system over denying its employees a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The NorthShore University HealthSystem has agreed to pay out more than $10.3 million in a “historic, first-of-its-kind class-action settlement” against a private employer, the group said.

The settlement was filed July 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ eastern division.

The Evanston-based health care system, which recently merged with Edward-Elmhurst Health, is the third largest health care delivery system in the state. It has nine hospitals and more than 300 local offices offering various clinical services; the merged system now stretches across six northeast Illinois counties.

The court must approve the settlement, the Chicago-based Liberty Counsel said in a statement.

“Employees of NorthShore who were denied religious exemptions will receive notice of the settlement,” it said, “and will have an opportunity to comment, object, request to opt out or submit a claim form for payment out of the settlement fund, all in accordance with deadlines that will be set by the court.”

More than 500 current and former health care workers “were unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the COVID shot mandate,” the Liberty Counsel added. “Employers that unlawfully forced their employees to get the COVID jabs just got a massive wake-up call.”

Those who have raised religious objections to being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine say it is because an abortion-derived cell line was used during the research and/or development of the vaccines. The vaccines themselves do not contain aborted fetal cells.

The three vaccines approved for use in the U.S. — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen — all rely on abortion-derived cell lines, the first two in testing and the third throughout the development, testing and production stages.

In a December 2020 document, the U.S. Catholic bishops reiterated Catholic teaching on morally compromised vaccines, noting their use can be justified amid urgent health crises, a lack of available alternatives and their remote connection with the abortions from which their cell lines originated.

The bishops’ document echoed the guidance issued by the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation, which said in a note on the issue Dec. 21, 2020, that “all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion.”

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control recommended use of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines over the Janssen one-shot vaccine because of concerns raised about side effects seen in some individuals who have received the latter shot.

In response to the settlement, the NorthShore health system said that along with changing how it considers religious exemptions, it will allow unvaccinated workers who were let go after they claimed a religious exemption to return.

“We continue to support systemwide, evidence-based vaccination requirements for everyone who works at NorthShore-Edward-Elmhurst Health and thank our team members for helping to keep our communities safe,” the system said in a statement.

“The settlement reflects implementation of a new systemwide vaccine policy which will include accommodation for team members with approved exemptions, including former employees who are rehired,” it added.