Bishop McElroy Asks Priests Not To Issue Vaccine Exemptions

As more governments, businesses and institutions implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates allowing for religious exemptions, Catholic leaders across the nation remain divided over whether or not they should sign off.

To clear up any confusion in San Diego, Bishop Robert McElroy asked local priests to “caringly decline” any requests for endorsement from parishioners seeking a religious exemption from a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“Such a declaration is particularly problematic because the Holy See has made it clear that receiving the [COVID-19] vaccine is perfectly consistent with Catholic faith, and indeed laudatory in light of the common good in this time of pandemic,” McElroy wrote in a letter to priests in the diocese.

Religious exemptions are included in several recent mandates, including two set by Governor Gavin Newsom in schools and in health care settings.

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