Skip to main content

A letter from the bishops of Colorado: "Vaccination is not morally obligatory and so must be voluntary"

We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, consistent with our previous letters on COVID-19 vaccines, affirm that the use of some COVID-19 vaccines is morally acceptable under certain circumstances. Throughout the pandemic we have cooperated with the various secular authorities and encouraged Catholics to help each other, and the broader society, remain healthy and safe during this challenging time. We understand that some individuals have well-founded convictions that lead them to discern they should not get vaccinated. We are pleased to see that in the case of the most recent Denver vaccine mandate there is accommodation for sincerely held religious beliefs. This is appropriate under the laws protecting freedom of religion.

We always remain vigilant when any bureaucracy seeks to impose uniform and sweeping requirements on a group of people in areas of personal conscience. Throughout history, human rights violations and a loss of respect for each person’s God-given dignity often begin with government mandates that fail to respect the freedom of conscience. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are convicted that the government should not impose medical interventions on an individual or group of persons. We urge respect for each person’s convictions and personal choices.

We have been asked several questions by the Faithful about relevant Catholic teaching applicable to this issue. The Catholic Church teaches that a person may refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience leads them to that decision. Here are relevant points for this personal decision:

• Vaccination is not morally obligatory and so must be voluntary.

• There is a moral duty to refuse the use of medical products, including certain vaccines, that are created using human cells lines derived from abortion; however, it is permissible to use such vaccines only under case-specific conditions—if there are no other alternatives available and the intent is to preserve life.

• A person’s assessment of whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects are to be respected unless they contradict authoritative Catholic moral teachings.

• A person is morally required to obey his or her conscience.

• For more information on these weighty ethical issues, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement that can be read here.

Taken as a whole, these points mean a Catholic may judge it right or wrong to receive certain vaccines for a variety of reasons, and there is no Church law or rule that obligates a Catholic to receive a vaccine — including COVID-19 vaccines.

The three Colorado Catholic dioceses remain committed to working with public health and other secular authorities to protect the wellbeing of our communities, at the same time urging that personal freedoms of conscience and expression be fully supported, and the integrity and autonomy of religious institutions be respected. The vaccination question is a deeply personal issue, and we continue to support religious exemptions from any and all vaccine mandates.

If any person comes to an informed judgment that he or she should receive or not receive a vaccine, that person should follow their conscience, and they should not be penalized for doing so. We encourage any individual seeking exemption to consult their employer or school. The Colorado Catholic Conference also has a letter template available to be signed by pastors of the Faithful if a Catholic wants a written record that they are seeking exemption on religious grounds.

Sincerely,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver]

[https://denvercatholic.org/a-letter-from-the-bishops-of-colorado-on-covid-19-vaccine-mandates/]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Vox Cantoris vs. Aqua

The Catholic Monitor commenter Aqua had this to say to the Vox Cantoris website: Aqua said… Fred, your topic here reminds me of a dust-up, a few days ago, on Vox Cantoris. He asserted that it is our duty as Christians to wear masks to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass if the government tells us we must, or they will close our Churches. My response to him was that I find it inconceivable that an orthodox Catholic, such as himself, would ever submit to unjust dictates from secular government over how we approach Our Lord in Holy Mass. My response to him was that the Mass belongs to Catholics and we decide, within the bounds of Tradition, and in accord with the Word of Jesus, how we conduct ourselves in Holy Mass. Only one authority prevails over Mass and that is our God and the Sacred Tradition given by Him to guide us in all times and places. Understand, there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing a mask to Mass. But there is EVERYTHING wrong with wearing a symbol

Inventor of mRNA Vaccines, Robert W. Malone MD: "'Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is calling for the creation of an Anti-Globalist Alliance 'under the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and Savior,' to fight back against the establishment of the New World Order'"

T his is what the inventor of mRNA vaccines, Robert W. Malone MD himself, reported about the vaccines: Robert W Malone, MD @RWMaloneMD "We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination." [https://mobile.twitter.com/RWMaloneMD/status/1462194727407730693]   Moreover, he goes even further and is quoting Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's call for the creation of an Anti-Globalist Alliance:   Robert W Malone, MD @RWMaloneMD "Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is calling for the creation of an Anti-Globalist Alliance “under the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and Savior,” to fight back against the establishment of the New World Order." youtube.com Abp. Viganò calls for Anti-Globalist Alliance to stop global enslav... Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is calli

The Vatican Biden Poopgate Controversy : "Someone said “Pope” ... Joe Biden thought they said “Poop.” The Rest is History"

Controversy: Are Poopgate investigators asking the important questions on Joe Biden's visit to Francis's Vatican?  Catturd ™ @catturd2 Someone said “Pope” ... Joe Biden thought they said “Poop.” The rest is history. [https://twitter.com/catturd2/status/1454621400816312324]