In partnership with the Catholic health systems and Catholic Charities throughout the Golden State, the Catholic Bishops of California urge all Californians to receive a vaccination to prevent the continued spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than two million people worldwide.
As the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said, the vaccines now available and offered (Pfizer and Moderna) and those currently in the testing approval/process (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) are morally permissible and can be used in good conscience. We urge Catholics of good will to put at ease others who have reservations about the morality of accepting such a vaccine that the highest doctrinal authority in the Church has given its okay after much study and research.
Beyond simply protecting their own health and safety, Catholics also have an obligation to protect their family, friends and community by vaccinating as soon as feasible in accordance with public health guidelines and protocols in their area. We urge Catholics of good will to assure others who have reservations about the morality of being vaccinated that the highest doctrinal authority in the Church has assured us of the permissibility of using such a vaccine. One should always consult with their doctor regarding any personal medical concerns.
The Jewish faith teaches us that to save a life, pikuach nefesh, is the greatest commandment that each person can fulfill. God does not ask for us to wait and see what will happen or just put our faith in God to make pain and suffering go away. No, God gave us the ability to repair the world. It is through God’s gift of knowledge that we are able to work toward ending the pain and suffering of so many. Just having faith is not enough. To deny the call to action is to deny God’s call to us to be partners in creation and to be partners in healing.
It is our sacred duty to do all we can, together! Please, wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and, when it is your opportunity, be vaccinated.
In word and deed, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported vaccinations for generations. As a prominent component of our humanitarian efforts, the Church has funded, distributed and administered life-saving vaccines throughout the world. Vaccinations have helped curb or eliminate devastating communicable diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox and measles. Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life.
As this pandemic spread across the world, the Church immediately canceled meetings, closed temples, and restricted other activities because of our desire to be good global citizens and do our part to fight the pandemic.
Now, COVID-19 vaccines that many have worked, prayed, and fasted for are being developed, and some are being provided. Under the guidelines issued by local health officials, vaccinations were first offered to health care workers, first responders, and other high-priority recipients. Because of their age, Senior Church leaders over 70 now welcome the opportunity to be vaccinated.
As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization. Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs.
The Coronavirus has created a new situation for everyone around the world. Anxiety and confusion are normal reactions, but panic isn’t helpful for any of us. Continuing throughout 2021, we will all have to stay strong and help ourselves and each other psychologically, spiritually and through technology. Life has changed and we have to adapt. We might not be able to change our reality, but we can take control of our attitudes towards it. We should be especially careful to protect ourselves and our loved ones – younger and older – and we need to accept the advice of experts in the media and from the CDC in regard to social distancing and hygiene. We also need to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Medical professionals really do know what to do better than us and there hasn’t been a virus like this one for over a century. Cutting corners in dealing with this contagion endangers our whole society. Our response to COVID-19 must be not only medical, but moral.
Each of our lives is, figuratively and literally, in the hands of all of us. We all need to “flatten the curve” by radical social distancing. It’s time to stop, to slow down, to feel responsible for self and society and to create true and loving community by both separating physically and by joining together emotionally.
In Jewish tradition, “Pikuach Nefesh”/saving a life is morally paramount. “Kol hamkayem nefesh achat, k’ilu keeyem olam maleh”/all who save one life, it is as if they saved a whole world is one of our most cherished ethical principles. This pandemic is a challenge for and to each of us – to socially distance and to reach out, by phone and online, to those who are feeling isolated, who need support, who feel overwhelmed or who just want to connect.
At this crucial time, we must all do our part as people of conscience and caring to “flatten the curve” and heighten our awareness and responsibility.
The Center for Spiritual Living Newport Mesa supports the freedom of choice and we encourage people to get vaccinated.
It is our belief that the vaccine will protect people. We know the Universe is working on our behalf according to our consciousness."