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HAMILTON, Ontario – (LifeSiteNews) In a letter dated August 20, the Diocese of Hamilton’s Chancellor Monsignor Murray J. Kroetsch instructs all priests under his purview to refuse to sign any letters of religious exemption for people looking to avoid the COVID-19 vaccines.

“In recent days, we have been receiving requests from people seeking endorsement of their decision not to receive any vaccinations for COVID-19 on the basis of their conscience and the teaching of the Catholic Church,” opens the letter.

“While we recognize the primacy of an individual’s conscience, we also place our trust in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church,” adds the monsignor.

The letter references the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s (CDF) statement – a statement that was met with objection by many members of the clergy including Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò – that the abortion-linked vaccines “are morally acceptable in light of the devastating impact of the Covid-19 virus and its variants.”

The letter, penned by Kroetsch, omits that the CDF also told the faithful, “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.”

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People of goodwill can disagree about the safety, efficacy and religious implications of a new vaccine for the coronavirus.

But, everyone should agree on this point:

No government can force anyone who has reached legal adulthood to be vaccinated for the coronavirus. Equally, no government can vaccinate minors for the coronavirus against the will of their parents or guardians.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which urges policymakers at every level of government to reject calls for mandatory coronavirus vaccination.

Fear of a disease - which we know very little about, relative to other similar diseases - must not lead to knee-jerk reactions regarding public health, nor can it justify supporting the hidden agenda of governmental as well as non-governmental bodies that have apparent conflicts of interest in plans to restrict personal freedoms. 

The so-called "public health experts" have gotten it wrong many times during the current crisis. We should not, therefore, allow their opinions to rush decision-makers into policies regarding vaccination.

And, while some people, like Bill Gates, may have a lot of money, his opinion and that of his NGO (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) - namely, that life will not return to normal till people are widely vaccinated - should not be permitted to influence policy decisions on a coronavirus vaccination program.

Finally, we must also not allow the rush by pharmaceutical companies to produce a new coronavirus vaccine to, itself, become an imperative for vaccination.

Unwitting citizens must not be used as guinea pigs for New World Order ideologues, or Big Pharma, in pursuit of a vaccine (and, profits) which may not even protect against future mutated strains of the coronavirus.

And it goes without saying that the production of vaccines using aborted babies for cell replication is a total non-starter, as the technique is gravely immoral.

However, if after sufficient study of the issue, a person who has reached the age of majority wishes to be vaccinated with a morally produced vaccine, along with his children, that is his business.

But we cannot and will not permit the government to make that decision for us.

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this petition, urging policymakers at all levels of government to reject mandatory coronavirus vaccination.


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** While LifeSite opposes immorally-produced vaccines using aborted fetal cell lines, we do not have a position on any particular coronavirus vaccines produced without such moral problems. We realize many have general concerns about vaccines, but also recognize that millions of lives have been saved due to vaccines.

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Additionally, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in regards to the primacy of conscience, “A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.”

Man “must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters,” adds the Catechism.

Yet Kroetsch’s letter later expresses that if a person claims the vaccine goes against “Biblical texts or to the authentic teaching of the Church” – a position held by many Catholics, including Cardinal Raymond Burke – “it is not possible for any minister of the Church to endorse such a position.”

“Priests are asked not to sign any proposed letters of exemption from Covid-19 vaccines,” the document continues.

Msgr. Kroetsch’s statement ends by arguing that Pope Francis has “spoken of the moral responsibility we have to receive the vaccines when they are available to us,” and therefore the clergy are required to “continue to encourage the faithful to get vaccinated as soon as they are able out of our concern for the common good.”

Ostensibly, this directive also applies to priests and staff members in the diocese, meaning they too would be unable to obtain a religious exemption if the jab were made mandatory – something Archdiocese of Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich declared in an August 18 memo, in which he ordered “all employees and clergy” to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

This letter, along with the words of Pope Francis, are also in contradiction with the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s (NCBC) opinion on mandatory vaccines.

As reported by LifeSite, the NCBC recently published a vaccine exemption resource, as well as a template letter, that uses authoritative Church teaching to confirm that Catholics can cite their faith, in good conscience, to exempt themselves from compulsory vaccinations.

The Center’s resource referenced the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” – directives promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – which state that only “in the patient’s judgment” can a decision be made about the use of abortion-linked medical interventions, such as the COVID-19 vaccines.

Additionally, the resource affirmed authoritative Church teachings regarding obedience to conscience, the necessity for vaccines to remain voluntary, and the general moral principle to refuse abortion-linked medical interventions.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here. 


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