Spokane, Wash., Aug 26, 2021 / 14:02 pm
Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane wrote on Tuesday that Catholic schools in the diocese will be expected to comply with the state’s vaccine mandate, while also seeking to clarify exemptions under state law and how Catholic schools will acknowledge those exemptions.
“We continue to comply with Governor Inslee’s mandate that all school employees receive one of the approved vaccines. The state recognizes two exemptions from this mandate. The first is a medical exemption that one may obtain through his or her physician. The second is a religious exemption which, for us as Catholics, rests on the fact that a properly formed conscience is inviolable,” Bishop Daly wrote Aug. 25.
“A Catholic school employee could, therefore, exercise his or her right to a religious exemption. This exemption places the burden on the individual’s conscience rather than on Church approval.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement Aug. 18 for all employees who work in K-12 schools, most early childhood learning centers, and higher education. The mandate applies to public and private schools.