Download Vaccination is ‘moral obligation’, Pope Francis insists
Pope Francis said in his annual speech yesterday that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus was a “moral obligation” and denounced how people had been swayed by “baseless information” to refuse one of the most effective measures to save lives.
The Pope used some of his strongest words yet calling people to get vaccinated in a speech to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, an annual event in which he takes stock of the world and sets out the Vatican’s foreign policy goals for the year.
Francis, 85, has generally shied away from speaking about vaccination as a “moral obligation”, though his COVID-19 advisory body has referred to it as a “moral responsibility”.
Rather, Francis has termed vaccination as “an act of love” and that refusing to get inoculated was “suicidal”.
Yesterday, he went a step further in a formal speech, saying that individuals had a responsibility to care for themselves “and this translates into respect for the health of those around us”.
Health care is a moral obligation,” he asserted.He lamented that increasing “ideological divides” were discouraging people from getting vaccinated.
Frequently, people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” he said.
“Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease,” he added.
Some Catholics, including some conservative U.S. bishops and cardinals, have claimed vaccines based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses were immoral, and have refused to get the jab.
The Vatican’s doctrine office, however, has said it is “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses.
Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have both been fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech shots.