Police in the hermit kingdom of West Australia have been slammed after a photo emerged appearing to show officers conducting COVID-19 compliance checks in the middle of Catholic mass at a Perth church. The Australian has the story.
West Australian police have been criticised after a photo emerged appearing to show officers conducting COVID-19 compliance checks in the middle of mass at a Perth church.
The image, posted to Instagram, was purportedly taken on Thursday night during a service at St Bernadette’s Catholic Church in the northern suburb of Glendalough.
The officers carried out checks to ensure that worshippers had complied with mask-wearing rules and had proof-of-vaccination certificates, despite such proof not being required for places of worship.
The WA Catholic Archdiocese condemned the actions.
“The Catholic Archdiocese of Perth does not support or condone the disruption of the celebration of the Eucharist for any reason, and condemns in the strongest possible terms this impingement upon the free practice of the Catholic faith,” the Church said. “With respect to this incident, it is unfortunate these checks were not undertaken prior to the mass or at its conclusion.”
Opposition Health Spokeswoman Libby Mettam said the state could do “a lot better”.
“The McGowan Government needs to explain how this type of state action is at all proportionate or necessary,” she said.
Proof-of-vaccination requirements came into force in Perth on Monday, except for places of worship with fewer than 500 people.