In Europe, there is a discussion about the possible purposefulness, justification and the scope of restrictions applied by the authorities of individual countries in connection with the epidemic of one of the viral diseases. In many countries, the restrictions are becoming more and more radical. A special case is Austria, which has decided to impose the most drastic restrictions on its citizens in the Old Continent, including compulsory vaccinations against COVID-19.
Croatia. The bishops call for reflection
Croatian bishops, on behalf of the nation, argued for the right of each citizen to decide individually about the measures to be taken in connection with the epidemic threat.
In the introduction to the message, the clergy encouraged believers and people of good will to reflect and constructive cooperation for the common good, both individually and socially. They emphasized their will to bring the light of the Gospel in a difficult moment for the country.
“Vaccination must be voluntary”
The bishops recalled the position of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from December 2020, pointing to the moral permissibility of the application of vaccines against COVID-19. The Council also recalled the body’s call to produce and distribute ethically acceptable preparations that will not cause a conflict of consciences. “(…) vaccination remains a means of preventing and suppressing the transmission of an infectious agent, but according to the instructions of the Congregation, it must be voluntary” – indicated the Croatian bishops.
“In recent days, an atmosphere of certain pressure has developed on people who manifested the problem of their own conscience. Addressing the issue of job loss and social status due to lack of vaccination has additionally burdened and upset trust and the social climate. Bearing in mind that the basis of social order is respect for people and of its dignity, we consider it necessary to take into account the arguments and arguments of individuals who for legitimate reasons exclude the possibility of vaccination.In this context, all measures and decisions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection should be deprived of compulsion and unconditionality, as indicated by the Congregation, in particular with regard to to the right to work, services and participation in society. It is also recommended to use non-invasive methods and other forms of research “, the letter reads.
“With human dignity and dignity before our eyes, we encourage believers and citizens, public employees, persons in charge of social service and media workers to contribute personally to creating a healthy human climate. In the prevention of coronavirus infection, they should pay attention to human dignity and human rights. in order not to discriminate in society. Particular attention should be paid to the elderly and the poor, and to provide them with health and other care, so that they feel protected and at home “- they emphasized.
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