Colorado’s Catholic bishops have issued a religious exemption letter for COVID vaccines for Catholics in their dioceses, along with an explanatory statement in which the bishops affirm that they "continue to support religious exemptions from any and all vaccine mandates."
The essence of this hugely significant policy is distilled into one sentence from their statement: "...[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."
This is great news, but ALL Catholics in the United States should be granted a religious exemption from "any and all vaccine mandates" by their local bishops (to be signed by their priests).
Could we now ask you to directly CONTACT New Jersey's bishops' conference (and, thereby, your bishops), asking them to also extend a religious exemption letter to the Catholics in your state's diocese(s)?
You can reach your state's bishops' conference in one easy step using this simple contact form (see right) that we're making available here on LifeSite's Action Center.
With one click, your message is sent directly to their office without having to look up any contact details.
Then, please SHARE this important call to action with your like-minded friends, parishioners, and family members to spread the word across your diocese and state!
The August 5 statement, signed by Denver’s Archbishop Samuel Aquila, along with Bishops Stephen Berg of Pueblo and James Golka of Colorado Springs and Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez of Denver, opens by repeating the Colorado hierarchy’s previous statements that "the use of some COVID-19 vaccines is morally acceptable under certain circumstances."
However, the bishops swiftly added that they were aware and "understand" that many people decide not to get the injections based on "well-founded convictions."
In both the statement and the template, the bishops focus on four main points:
- The moral teaching of the Catholic Church holds that "a person may be required to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience comes to this judgment."
- There is a "moral duty" to refuse “medical products, including certain vaccines, that are created using human cells lines derived from abortion.” Drawing on moral arguments made by recent documents, the bishops added that "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."
- An individual's analysis of the real or perceived medical benefits weighed against the possible negative side-effects of any therapeutic intervention must be respected.
- A person is morally obliged to obey his or her conscience.
Additionally, referring to recent documents and statements from the Vatican, the Pontifical Academy for Life, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the modern catechism, the bishops recalled that vaccination itself must be voluntary.
Taken together, the bishops conclude that a Catholic may use their conscience to decide to licitly refuse vaccination.
And, critically, as above, the bishops also forcefully state that there is no Church law obliging a Catholic to be vaccinated.
Please take a few minutes to contact New Jersey's state bishops' conference as soon as possible, and ask them to promptly approve and introduce a religious exemption letter for COVID vaccines for Catholics in their dioceses.
As state governments (often acting as employers) and private corporations around the country begin to introduce mandatory COVID vaccinations, now is the time to take action.
Thank you for contacting your state bishops' conference today!
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Colorado bishops issue religious exemption letter for COVID shots, urging people to ‘follow their conscience’' -