Vatican on Vaccines
Holy Little Saint
We will never forget
Sample Letter for Catholics. Please note: This is only a sample to be used as a guideline for composing your own letter. Most states require that your religious reasoning is genuinely held, sincere and of utmost importance, religious in nature. Form letters are frequently rejected. However, the Church teaching on Moral Conscience is not only abundant but also a formal tenet of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is stated by Papal authority to be “the sure teaching norm for the Catholic faith”. Thus all writings of the Catechism are held as tenets of the Catholic Church. For other supporting Church documentation, click here. For more help, contact us!
From: (Parent Name & Address)
To: (School Name, Administrator, address)
To Whom It May Concern,
In that I am a member of the Catholic Church and that my child , , is a member of the Catholic Church, I am exercising our rights to receive a religious exemption for vaccination.
First and foremost, the vaccines we oppose are the MMR, Hepatitis-A, Shingles and Chickenpox and any others that may be required in the future which are produced with aborted fetal cell lines. In regard to using such vaccines, the Vatican has instructed the faithful that:
“As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health.” (Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Cells Derived From Aborted Human Foetuses, Pontifical Academy for Life, June 2005)
The Centers for Disease Control which is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, has not attested to any sort of significant risk to the health of the community at this time that would preclude our right to abstain in accord with this teaching. In addition, there are already State guidelines in place that would exclude all unvaccinated children from attendance at school during an outbreak until the danger passes. Therefore as faithful Catholics, to the extent that our unvaccinated child does not pose a threat to anyone, we cannot according to the Church tenets on conscience which are outlined below, use any product that takes its origin in abortion.
The Vatican document further expounds on this right stating:
“They should take recourse, if necessary, to the use of conscientious objection with regard to the use of vaccines produced by means of cell lines of aborted human foetal origin.”
“Such a duty may lead, as a consequence, to taking recourse to “objection of conscience” when the action recognized as illicit is an act permitted or even encouraged by the laws of the country and poses a threat to human life. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae underlined this “obligation to oppose” the laws which permit abortion or euthanasia ‘by conscientious objection’
“It is up to the faithful and citizens of upright conscience (fathers of families, doctors, etc.) to oppose, even by making an objection of conscience, the ever more widespread attacks against life and the “culture of death” which underlies them.”
“[T]here is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines and to make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems.”
“As regards those who need to use such vaccines for reasons of health, it must be emphasized that, apart from every form of formal cooperation, in general, doctors or parents who resort to the use of these vaccines for their children, in spite of knowing their origin (voluntary abortion), carry out a form of very remote mediate material cooperation, and thus very mild, in the performance of the original act of abortion, and a mediate material cooperation, with regard to the marketing of cells coming from abortions, and immediate, with regard to the marketing of vaccines produced with such cells.
However, in this situation, the aspect of passive cooperation is that which stands out most. It is up to the faithful and citizens of upright conscience (fathers of families, doctors, etc.) to oppose, even by making an objection of conscience, the ever more widespread attacks against life and the “culture of death” which underlies them. From this point of view, the use of vaccines whose production is connected with procured abortion constitutes at least a mediate remote passive material cooperation to the abortion, and an immediate passive material cooperation with regard to their marketing.”
Thus, using these vaccines does constitute at least a somewhat sinful action which we cannot participate in. Further, the Catechism of the Catholic Church which Pope John Paul II declared to be the “sure teaching norm of the Catholic Church” contains the tenets of our faith and our duty to adhere to these teachings regarding conscience states:
1776 Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…. His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.
1777 Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.
1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:
Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise…. [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.
1779 It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination or introspection.
Return to your conscience, question it…. Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness.
1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. Prudence is ‘right reason in action,’ writes St. Thomas Aquinas. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment.
We are also taught through the teachings of Papal Encyclicals that conscience is the Divine Law which is inscribed into the heart and soul of man by God. For example:
“The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason, ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin…But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and freedom must be submitted.” (Leo XIII Libertas Praestantissimum, 597)
“On his part, man perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience. It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end. Therefore he 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. The reason is that the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly toward God. Acts of this kind cannot be commanded or forbidden by any merely human authority.” (Dignitatis Humanae, Pope Paul VI, 1965)
Synod of Bishops’ address to the United Nations October 2, 1979:
“In accordance with their dignity, all human beings, because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and, therefore, bearing a personal responsibility, are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and to direct their whole lives in accordance with its demands” (Dignitatis humanae, 2). “The practice of religion by its very nature consists primarily of those voluntary and free internal acts of conscience by which a human being directly sets his course towards God. No merely human power can either command or prohibit acts of this kind”
Pope Paul VI, 1965 Gaudium et Spes:
“For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the Divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain “under the control of his own decisions, so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man’s dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure.”
Fourth Lateran Council:
“The Divine Law,” says Cardinal Gousset, “is the supreme rule of actions; our thoughts, desires, words, acts, all that man is, is subject to the domain of the law of God; and this law is the rule of our conduct by means of our conscience. Hence it is never lawful to go against our conscience; as the Fourth Lateran council says, ‘Quidquid fit contra conscientiam, aedificat ad gehennam.'” [“Whatever is done in opposition to conscience is conducive to damnation.”]
We further believe that using products from manufacturers engaged in such immoral research and vaccine production provides financial incentive for them to continue these practices, as evidenced by current clinical trials of Ebola vaccines by Merck, GSK and Johnson & Johnson, all of which are using aborted fetal cell lines. It would be a direct violation of our conscience to purchase any products from these companies and in direct contradiction to the teachings founded in our Catholic faith.
In that the use of these vaccines would be both a violation of Catholic doctrine on the duty to adhere to moral conscience and also in contradiction with the instruction of the Vatican, therefore, under the teachings of the Catholic Church to which my child and I are religiously and morally bound, I submit this exemption for vaccination.