Washington D.C., Apr 7, 2021 / 10:00 am
President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying that Pope Francis has called vaccination a “moral obligation.”
In his remarks on the state of COVID vaccinations on Tuesday, President Biden praised the partnerships between religious groups and community health centers on providing COVID-19 vaccinations.
He called the effort to provide vaccinations “an example of America at its finest,” and added that “they're all meeting what Pope Francis calls the moral obligation - get vaccinated - something which he went on to say can save your life and the lives of others.”
In response to CNA’s inquiry as to the source of Pope Francis’ comments, the White House pointed to the pope’s January television interview where he said that “I believe that, ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine.”
In that interview, Pope Francis called vaccination “an ethical option because it concerns your life but also that of others.”
However, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) stated in December that vaccination against COVID-19 is not a moral obligation – a statement that was approved by Pope Francis.
“At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary,” the CDF said in its “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines.”
The Vatican went on to emphasize that vaccination against COVID can promote the common good. The CDF said that those who do not receive a COVID-19 vaccine must take the appropriate actions to ensure they would not spread the virus and pose a risk to vulnerable people.