Whether someone gets a vaccine or does not get a vaccine that is a personal decision for an individual, and we have no right to judge either decision. The first question that we ask when we meet someone should not be "Are you vaccinated?" Our vaccination status does not define us. The vaccine should not be our idol.
It is absolutely deplorable that in some parishes unvaccinated individuals are not permitted to teach religious education. We are denying fervent and zealous Catechists who love the faith their duty as a Catholic to share the faith with others. We are called to share our faith, especially with our young people. The facts are in front of us; Covid can be spread by either vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals, which we see with our own eyes around us. And the statistics show that among 3.5 million Covid-19 deaths reported of those cases 0.4 percent were those under the age of 20. The majority of Covid deaths have been adults, not children. If we are concerned with the spread of Covid, which we know can be spread regardless of vaccination status, should we not simply require everyone to be tested weekly for Covid? Would that not make more sense? There is no reason to prevent unvaccinated Catechists from teaching religious education. It is illogical.
The Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection has published a study that shows:
COVID rarely kills children, even compared with influenza, against which many children are already vaccinated. Our data show that for mortality COVID-19 is similar to flu, or less severe, in children whilst being the opposite in adults.
When we look at the statistics from the research it shows "age-specific data for seven countries showing population, estimated deaths from all and specific causes for three months, compared with COVID-19 cases and deaths from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to 8–19 May 2020". For the time period there were 44 Covid-19 deaths, and there were 107 deaths from influenza for children ages 0-14 in the United States.
Time Magazine has also reported:
In the U.S., just over 100 children under age 15 died from COVID-19 in 2020. They account for 0.03% of the 376,000 COVID-19 deaths since the virus hit the country last spring and less than 0.5% of the 26,000 total child deaths from all causes.
It is also deeply troubling that there are men who wanted to offer their lives to God as a priest, but were forced to leave the seminary since they did not receive the Covid-19 vaccine. They had to choose between going against their moral conscience or losing their vocation; a decision that they never should have to make in their life. I know of a seminarian who decided to get the vaccination as to not lose his vocation and he stated, "I felt like the Church violated me". How is that all right? How do we have the audacity to pray for more priestly vocations while at the same time kicking out seminarians for not wanting to go against their moral conscience? Why is our Church contradicting its own teachings?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. 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. (1782)
Why in the Church are we using fear-mongering tactics to harass people until we control them and force them to get it? Or we try our best to shame them and do everything we can to take away their human dignity until they feel coerced into getting a vaccine that they may honestly have valid concerns about getting for themselves? And now the same techniques are even being used on those who already received the vaccine telling them they need to now be prepared to get a booster shot, whether they want to get it or not. There are those who have serious concerns about all of this, and we need as their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to respect their legitimate concerns. Why does our Church seem to care more about a vaccine than about saving souls?
Vaccines seem to be getting more attention and focus than Christ and the Gospels. Since when did a vaccine become more important than listening to the truth. We believe or at least we are supposed to believe that Christ needs to be the center of our lives, and our faith, hope, and confidence should be placed in Him, and only Him. For only He is the way, the truth, and the life. A vaccine may or may not be able to save our mortal bodies, but it cannot save our immortal souls. Christ and Christ alone is Who saves us, not the coronavirus vaccine.
We can be concerned about our health as we should be in this world, but honestly because I know that I am a part of this world, but that I do not belong to this world I am more concerned about the matter of heaven. I want to get to heaven, that is my ultimate goal. Choosing to receive the vaccine or not receive the vaccine does not guarantee that anyone will be able to spend eternity with Christ in Paradise. It does not save one's soul or damn one to hell. It is a vaccine, not God.
Do we honestly believe harassing others and bullying others to get a vaccine and separating them from the rest of the crowd is Christ-like? Do we really and truly believe Christ condones this kind of behavior, and that it brings Him joy to see that it has been brought into His Church? Did Christ separate the lepers from the non-lepers? Or the paralytic, the lame, or the blind from the rest of the crowd? Where in scripture does it speak of Jesus separating His followers based on their health information?
Why are we worshiping a vaccine? The vaccine has become our modern day golden calf. We are placing our first and foremost priority onto a vaccine instead of God, and this is both infuriating and outrageous. We should want God back as the center in our lives. And maybe for some Catholic parishes that even could mean moving the tabernacle back to the center if it helps to re-focus Catholics on what truly matters in this world, CHRIST!