Slovakia – The attitude of the Church and of the Catholic hierarchy towards areas outside its purview is often the source of deep divisions among the faithful. The current issue of Covid-19 vaccination and the introduction of a de jure or de facto vaccination obligation is no exception to this rule.
“Vaccination is not inherently evil’
The Slovak Bishops’ Conference issued a statement on 21 December, 2021, shortly before Christmas, denying Catholic faithfuls any right to refuse “vaccination with experimental products” in the name of a so-called conscientious objection based on their Catholic faith. The bishops’ spokesperson, Martin Kramara, explains: “Vaccination, as such, is not inherently evil (…) A conscientious objection concerns conduct which is, in essence, bad (…)
If someone rejects [vaccination], he cannot raise a conscientious objection. (…) One’s own conscience cannot be placed, at any time and in any way, above laws and rules which apply in society and which must also be taken into account
(…) If someone decides to drive on the left in a country where everyone drives on the right, they cannot claim freedom of conscience.”
“Experimental vaccines without any guarantee”
This statement prompted a reaction from the faithful who launched a petition in which they responded to Martin Kramara: “The subject of conscientious objection is evidently not the question of vaccination as such.
The subject of our conscientious objection is the use of experimental vaccines against Covid-19, their manufacturers themselves offer no guarantee of safety and know nothing of its negative consequences in the mid-/long-term.
Thousands of serious health complications and deaths linked to the use of experimental Covid-19 vaccines are currently recorded. In addition, the risk of using such an experimental vaccine is borne by each vaccinee.
By making such a statement you are misleading people and at the same time creating a general positive awareness ‘about the benefits of vaccines’, you are encouraging people to accept the experimental covid-19 vaccine.
[…] The compulsory vaccination of children and people over the age of 60 with experimental vaccines is nonsense, a flagrant violation of natural human rights and, above all, a moral responsibility before God and Men. For this reason, we are also sending our letter to all Slovak archbishops and bishops with a request for your dismissal”.
Is the role of religious institutions to save souls or “save lives”?