Diocese of Baton Rouge addresses public reaction to COVID-19 protocols, changes in protocol may be announced by next week

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Bishop of Baton Rouge has issued a letter discussing the latest COVID-19 data and a potential change in protocol for the upcoming school year.

Earlier this month, the Diocese of Baton Rouge released its COVID-19 safety protocols and policies then reconsidered its position after receiving backlash when protocol suggested that unvaccinated students were to wear a mask while vaccinated students had the choice to wear a mask or not.

On July 28, he directly addresses the reaction from the public in a letter. An excerpt reads:

“As you know, the reaction from some was immediate and impassioned. The ensuing reaction surprised me in intensity, conviction and breadth of reasons which were based on both medical and political opinions, and in some few cases, in the rage and disrespect (though possibly not intended) shown to the parish secretaries, pastors, and the staff at the Catholic Life Center. I felt this personally, not because of the disagreement about guidelines or proposed protocols, but because of the explicit assumption that the diocese was not acting in the best interest of our children or that I was being influenced by a political narrative that was obstructing personal or religious freedom. I want to be clear and assure you that such thoughts are not true. There have never been, nor are there now, nor will there ever be any secret motives on my part or on the part of our Catholic schools’ leadership.”

Bishop Michael Duca

Additionally, Duca’s letter acknowledged the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and outlines his two goals for area Catholic schools:

  1. “Ensuring that each day everyone in our schools (especially children, faculty, and staff) is as safe as possible; and,
  2. Keeping our elementary and high schools open for in-class learning with minimal disruption.”

Changes to the current protocol in place will be made public by Monday, Aug. 2.

To read the full letter, click here.

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