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Catholic Districts Reject Religious Exemptions For Vaccines

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The Philadelphia Archdiocese joins a growing list of Catholic districts that reject religious exemptions as a reason to refuse COVID-19 vaccines. Church leaders from Philadelphia are urging priests to get parishioners vaccinated. They don’t want Americans using the church as their reason for refusing vaccines. 

RELATED: Defense Secretary Will Mandate Vaccines For Entire Military

Use Your Own Reason of Conscience, Not Religious Exemptions

Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, issued a statement. He said that individuals can still make their own judgments. “Individuals may wish to pursue an exemption from vaccination based on their own reasons of conscience. In such cases, the burden to support such a request is not one for the local Church or its clergy to validate,” he said.

Philadelphia is the latest diocese to reject religious exemptions for the vaccine. It joins the San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Camden, N.J dioceses. Their collective stance contrasts with other Catholic organizations that support religious exemptions. 

Divided Attitudes

If nothing else, the issue shows a divided church when it comes to the issue of vaccinations. Most beliefs emphasize the dignity of human life. However, many religions are still trying to grasp how they deal with the COVID vaccine.

Over 4.3 million people worldwide already died from the condition. However, many people still refuse to take in vaccines for many reasons. This includes religious objections.

In a vaccine promotion, Pope Francis himself declared that getting a vaccine is an act of love. “Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable,” he wrote. He also added that he hoped “everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love.”

Immunization is Not a Moral Obligation

However, even the Pope’s words mean little to dioceses and groups on the ground. For example, bishops in Colorado and South Dakota object to vaccine requirements. They insisted that immunization is not a moral obligation, which makes it voluntary.

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The National Catholic Bioethics Center uses many materials to test the vaccines. In the case of COVID vaccines, scientists use fetal cell lines.

“A Catholic may judge it wrong to receive certain vaccines for a variety of reasons consistent with these teachings, and there is no authoritative Church teaching universally obliging Catholics to receive any vaccine,” the center wrote. They use this wording when replying to questions on requesting a religious exemption. 

Religious Exemptions As an Out

Even as the government has yet to mandate vaccines among the general population, they allow refusal due to religious exemptions as part of an exception. Meanwhile, each Catholic bishop develops the policy for his own jurisdiction. Some, like dioceses in El Paso and Lexington, Ky., require vaccines for all employees.

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington said vaccination was urgent.“The health care system is now overwhelmed by a crisis caused primarily by those who refuse to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. This is unacceptable, and our diocese now joins those employers who have already made this basic commitment to the common good a requirement,” he said in a statement.

Many Catholics Already Have the Vaccine

However, even as mandates continue to evoke debate, many Catholics report getting vaccinated. Hispanic Catholics with coronavirus vaccines are at 80%, while white Catholics already reached 79%. This is according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Watch the EWTN video discussing the controversy over religious exemptions from COVID vaccinations:

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  • M mitzel says:

    Any medicine that uses fetal tissue in the development and/or the makeup of a vaccine is questionable. The numbers of deaths is skewed as they counted an inaccurate number.
    Mother Mary would not want anything that validates abortions.

  • Mark Hiatt says:

    Us Americans have the right to decide on getting the shot or not . Case closed. The church needs to clean up shit before they tell others what to do

  • DR. Bennett says:

    The Covid Vaccine is the Mark of the Beast. I will not COMPLY!

  • David says:

    The Catholic church shouldn’t play politics, and before they do, maybe they should stop doing thr devils work and stop raping & molesting children and hiding those that do.

  • 2WarAbnVet says:

    The leftist dichotomy …
    Abortion: You can’t tell women what to do with their own body!
    Covid Vaccine: You must submit your body to government dictates!

  • J Terry Rogerson says:

    I am a Catholic and not for unlimited abortion, but do believe there should be a grace period determined by credible professionals as to when life begins. It makes me sick to read these comments and others. These same people talk about right to life while the hospitals are overloaded and
    understaffed having to look for other hospitals to take non vaccinated selfish people who think it is christen to not get vaccinated while their poor
    actions cause other people to die. All of you are great christens, you can’t be a good Catholic or any other good christen if you are not a responsible citizen first.

  • Piglet says:

    Do people have any idea of what’s really in these so-called vaccines? And why should Catholics participate in a massive depopulation program?

    Over a year ago the federal government gave the pharmaceutical companies blanket immunity for any injuries or deaths resulting from their so-called vaccines. That should have been a clue for most people that something wasn’t right.

    If you submit to being injected, you’re placing your trust in the government and Big Pharma. Give that some thought.

  • Elaine says:

    Funny Catholicism is about “the church” … how about the Bible? That’s where I look for truth. Sounds like Catholic Pope, bishops, etc are a lot like the Pharisees. Many behave as if they are all important, not humble before God.
    I feel sorry for Catholic parishioners being led by nothing more than pharisees BIBLE is word of God full of His promises to care for us. Any true Christian will not fear because if you truly believe in God, His promises and His abilities then there is nothing to fear. Sooo many say these words but few actually live them!

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