Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 19, 2021 / 15:05 pm
The archdioceses of both Philadelphia and Chicago have instructed their clerics not to assist parishioners seeking religious exemptions from receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
An Aug. 18 letter from Fr. Michael Hennelly, Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said that neither the archdiocese “nor its parishes are able to provide support, written or otherwise, for individuals seeking an exemption from the vaccine on religious grounds.”
And Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago wrote Aug. 17 to priests instructing them to "politely decline" requests for religious exemption, "and explain that doing so would mean that you would be endorsing something that is not in keeping with Catholic teaching," according to a copy of the letter provided by WLS-TV.
“Parishioners surely can determine their own actions, but it would be important to clarify that they cannot use the teaching of the church to justify such decisions, which in their essence, are a rejection of the church’s authentic moral teaching regarding Covid vaccines,” the cardinal wrote.