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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Aug 05, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.


“There is no basis for a priest to issue a religious exemption to the vaccine.” That is the message from the top brass of the New York archdiocese.

That message is wrong: factually wrong, theologically wrong, morally wrong.

The archdiocesan memo cited the “directives” of Pope Francis, who—the chancery officials noted—has said that it is “morally acceptable” to take the Covid vaccine. “Cardinal Dolan has said the same,” the memo continues.

Yes, but to say that it is “morally acceptable” to be vaccinated is not the same as saying that it is morally obligatory. With this memo, unfortunately, the archdiocese threw its weight behind the campaign to make vaccination morally obligatory. …

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