COVID Vaccines and VAX Passports

An Official Teaching Of the Catholic Church In America regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, vaccination passports and the importance of individual conscience:

Most of you know by now that I’ve been an outspoken critic of the Gestapo like tactics and blatantly misleading information that we’ve been pummeled with over the past 20 months. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m also against any and all mandates, including VAXing and so-called VAX Passports.


As the presiding Bishop of the Catholic Church in America, I emphasize my support for those with conscientious objections to any vaccines.


In the particular case of the various COVID-19 vaccines, I am of the strong conviction that neither the government nor businesses have the right to impose medical interventions on an individual or group of persons. regarding the current pandemic controversy there are an abundance of moral considerations for our church to urge respect for each person’s convictions and personal choices.


I understand that many individuals have well-founded beliefs that have lead them to discern they should not get vaccinated, and I support those conscientious objections.


We must always remain vigilant when any bureaucracy seeks to impose uniform and sweeping requirements on a group of people in areas of personal conscience. Forcing people to take experimental drugs is actually a human rights violations according to the Nuremberg trials following WWII. A loss of respect for each person’s God-given dignity often begin with government mandates that fail to respect the freedom of conscience.”

Sadly, vaccine mandates have begun to be announced at many places of employment across the nation in both business and government agencies. I strongly suggest that those entities reconsider their mandated policies.


It is a long-standing position of the Catholic Church that a person may refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience leads them to that decision. It is my opinion that vaccinations are not morally obligatory and so must be voluntary. There is also a moral duty to reject vaccines and other medical products created using human cells lines derived from abortion, except in “case-specific conditions” where there are no other alternatives available and “the intent is to preserve life.”


A person’s assessment of whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects are to be respected unless they contradict authoritative Catholic moral teachings, a person morally must obey his or her conscience.


The First Amendment of the US Constitution is clear, in my mind, that concerns about religious accommodation for moral and ethical objections MUST be taken into consideration. If a Catholic comes to an informed judgment that he or she should not receive a vaccine, then the Catholic Church in America requires that the person follow this judgment of conscience and refuse the vaccine.

++Michael Callahan

Presiding Bishop

Catholic Church in America

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