13 Oct. 2021 22:06 o’clock
The top Catholic representative of the US military has stated that soldiers have the right to distance themselves from the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination based on their conscience. Some branches of the military had been charged with preventing such exceptions.
In a statement released Tuesday, Timothy Broglio, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services, argued that while the Vatican had determined that none of the COVID-19 vaccines used were per se wrong due to a tangential connection to aborted fetal cells but soldiers still have the right to refuse the vaccine if they believe that it “violates their conscience” for any reason. Broglio wrote:
“Regardless of the moral permissibility of these vaccines, the Church adheres to its teaching on the holiness of conscience.”
“Accordingly, no one should be forced to have a COVID-19 vaccine if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience.”
“Denial of religious accommodation or punitive or adverse personnel action against those who raise serious conscience-based objections would violate US federal law and would be morally reprehensible.”
The minister’s statement follows an August order from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin requiring all military personnel to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine shortly after the FDA fully approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. While the US armed forces allow some exceptions – for example, the army allows exceptions for “legitimate medical, religious or administrative reasons” – some divisions of the army have come under fire for allegedly attempting to close such loopholes.
From documents that Fox News leaked last month, it appears that the US Coast Guard has urged its chaplains to scrutinize any soldier who applies for a religious exemption. They were also asked to screen the soldiers with a series of specific questions. Among other things, the clergy should find out whether those affected have ever taken a list of common drugs that contained fetal stem cells at any stage of their development. This apparently in the hope of involving the soldiers concerned in a contradiction in order to be able to reject their application. The document addressed to the pastors states:
“Have employees describe how they consistently adhere to the principles of their belief and demonstrate it in their daily life. Ask them to be as specific as possible. Include the specific actions (or lack thereof) in the memo.”
Mike Berry, attorney with the First Liberty Institute, a religious freedom organization that originally submitted the documents Fox News had forwarded, described the instructions of the Coast Guard as “the worst breach of the constitution I have ever seen”. He added:
“This is nothing short of a modern inquisition. It shows that the Coast Guard’s true motivation is religious hostility.”
more on the subject – Corona: Texas prohibits compulsory vaccinations