Check out the NCBC’s Vaccine Exemption Resource for Individuals. They, as per usual, do a wonderful job of presenting Catholic teaching in a clear an concise way!
For all of those Assisted Suicide slippery-slope-skeptics out there…the slippery slope is a real thing! Exhibit A – California…
Now it’s time to improve the law, Brody said, “with the political courage to take on the vested interests who didn’t want this law in the first place, who don’t want the law now and who have demanded these so-called safeguards,” he said. “These ‘safeguards’ have turned out to be barriers,” he said.
The lawsuit filed in CA claims that the state’s Assisted Suicide law unjustly discriminates against people who are physically unable to self-administer the medications meant to end their lives. This is significant because of the “safe guards” often used to sell us laws is that we would never allow something as terrible as euthanasia…not here in America!…they say. And now here we are.
Whether or not this lawsuit succeeds, there are sure to be similar legal challenges in other states with Assisted Suicide laws on the books. Eventually one of them is likely be successful.
And when that one is successful, the next lawsuit will claim that its unjustly discriminatory to preclude those who are unconscious from being able to die when they clearly would have wanted…and what about those with dementia…even if they don’t remember they want to die need to be held down…and those poor kids who are suffering and would clearly be better off dead…and that way lies monsters!
Thank you to Barbara Lyons of the Patients Rights Action Fund for helping us keep up to date on these important developments!
Updated 8/26/21 at 2030 – The reason for the lack of clarity had now been made clear. It seems that NYS never intended to allow for religious exemptions in the first place.
On August 16 Governor Cuomo issued a proclamation that all healthcare works in NYS will be mandated to be vaccinated no later than September 27th. With respect to exemptions to this mandate, the statement reads, “…a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.”
On August 23, the University of Rochester published their understanding of the mandate:
UR Medicine leadership participated in a call last week with New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) representatives to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo last Monday. At this time, the Medical Center’s understanding is that the mandate will apply to everyone who works within a licensed health care facility. This means that all faculty, staff, and students who work or study in a patient care facility (inpatient, outpatient, and procedure areas) will be required to receive a first dose of the vaccine by the state’s September 27 deadline; testing is no longer an available option per NYSDOH. It also appears that the state will approve limited criteria for medical or religious exemptions. (emphasis added)
Unlike student exemptions (U of R’s exemption process is here, see below for their exemption form) it appears that it will be the New York State government itself that will be directly handling requests for exemptions. However, the process for such requests is unclear.
One thing we would like to make/keep clear is the official stance of the Catholic Church on this contentious issue. From the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines (promulgated 12/21/2020)
3...It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive. It should be emphasized, however, that the morally licit use of these types of vaccines, in the particular conditions that make it so, does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion, and necessarily assumes the opposition to this practice by those who make use of these vaccines....
5. At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.
To be clear, the Finger Lakes Guild fully submits to the prudential judgement of the Church that the currently-available vaccines, while not ideal from a moral standpoint, are acceptable under the circumstances of this pandemic.
At the same time, the Guild also stands by those individuals who, as a matter of conscience, are unable to accept vaccination with any of the currently-available options due to the connection to abortion.
Finally, in accordance with paragraph 5 from the CDF’s Note, we oppose the Governor’s sweeping mandate that effectively makes vaccination non-voluntary for healthcare workers by forcing a choice between either violating their conscience or losing their job.
Please share any thoughts, questions, etc. with us here. We will do our best to stay abreast of this rapidly evolving policy from the Governor.
Excellent question! To some extent, it appears to depend on where you live. There is significant disagreement even among Bishops on this topic. In particular, the Archdiocese of New York has said that their diocesan priests are not to endorse such exemptions, while the Bishops of Colorado have gone so far as to provide a template for requesting just such an exemption.
Fr. Tad did a masterful job framing both the scientific and moral issues related to COVID vaccines. He was also extremely generous with this time, answering questions and engaging in discussion with the audience (both those in-person and joining remotely) late into the evening.
Thank you also to the many people who joined us for this talk. We were very happy to see many of you in person and were also gratified to see so much interest from those joining remotely!
If you haven’t already, please check out the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s website. In particular, keep in mind that if you ever find yourself in an ethically difficult bind, you can Ask a Question 24/7 and an ethicist will help you find the path that is true to Catholic moral teaching in an ever more challenging world!