English bishops issue updated statement on Covid vaccine (CBCEW) “Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death,” the bishops said in their December 3 statement. “A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate.” After distinguishing between various vaccines, the bishops concluded that “Catholics may in good conscience receive any of these vaccines for the good of others and themselves. In good conscience, one may refuse a particular vaccine but continues to have a duty to protect others from infection.”
Alberta, Northwest Territories bishops: It is morally permissible to receive Covid vaccine derived from abortion (Catholic Bishops of Alberta and NWT) “With respect to someone simply receiving the vaccine, the degree of connection with the original evil act is so remote that, when there also exists a proportionately grave reason for vaccination, such as the current, urgent need to halt the COVID-19 pandemic, then the Church assures us that it is morally permissible for Catholics to receive it for the good of personal and public health,” the bishops wrote in their letter to the faithful. “It remains imperative that Catholics make clear their moral objection to vaccine development derived from abortion, and to advocate with their governments for ethically produced vaccines.”
Haiti's bishops declare 3 days of prayer and fasting (Fides) “Today more than ever, our dear Haiti needs salvation, redemption, peace and profound change: a change in mentalities, structures, ways of governing and doing politics,” the bishops said. “Today we are witnessing a poisoning of social life due to a proliferation of acts of kidnapping, banditry, rape, murder, and barbarism.”
In year-end message, leading South African bishop discusses corruption, Covid fatigue (SACBC) “At the root of the practice of gathering in groups and partying by the young people and thus posing the danger of Covid-19 transmission is the prevailing hedonistic culture that propagates pursuance of pleasure at all cost, even if that means inconveniencing and endangering others,” said Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of Mthatha, president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Include disabled people in society, Pope insists (Vatican News) Christian concern for disabled people should be “not only to care for them, but also to ensure their active participation in the civil and ecclesial community,” Pope Francis said in his message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Pope said that inclusion of the disabled—and rejection of a “throwaway culture”—should goals as society emerges from the Covid lockdown.
'They are an example to all of us': papal tribute to missionaries slain in El Salvador in 1980 (Vatican News) Referring to three American religious sisters and a lay missionary slain in El Salvador on December 2, 1980, the Pope recalled that “they were kidnapped, raped and killed by a group of paramilitary forces. They were offering their services during the civil war and they were bringing food and medicine to those who had to flee, especially to the families that were the poorest. These women lived their faith with great generosity. They are an example for all of us to become faithful missionary disciples.” In El Salvador, prelates and others also remembered the missionaries.
Most Americans oppose special treatment for churches in Covid lockdown (Pew Forum) Nearly four of five Americans think that houses of worship should abide by the same Covid restrictions, according to a new Pew survey; only 19% of respondents said that churches should be granted greater freedom. Most of those polled said that their own churches are now open, with special measures in place. But 23% of Catholics said their churches were still closed. Respondents were roughly twice as likely (63-32%) to have watched services online as to have attended in person.