Vaccination is a personal matter for everyone, it must be voluntary, the Head of the UGCC in a comment for Ukrayinska Pravda
His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, expressed his position on vaccination. In a comment for Ukrayinska Pravda, the Head of the Church stressed that vaccination is a personal matter for everyone, it should be voluntary. However, the Primate noted that when the coronavirus vaccine is available to him, he will “accept such an offer.” Below we publish the entire commentary of His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
The notion that the Church is against vaccination is wrong. There are some kinds of circles that are influenced by different pseudo-scientific ideas about vaccination. But the Church primarily builds its attitude to vaccination on the basis of scientific evidence.
Today we do not know the world without vaccination. The world in which we live became as a result of certain precautions of mankind against the spread of particularly dangerous diseases. Believing in world conspiracies is a private matter, but it has nothing to do with the teachings of the Church, which Christianity adheres to.
The fear of vaccination against coronavirus is quite natural because the vaccine is something new and unexplored. It was invented in record time, and people have reason to doubt its effectiveness, to have some concerns.
Vaccination is a personal matter for everyone, it must be voluntary. Even with official confirmation that the vaccine is safe and affordable, the state must leave the person a choice of personal freedom.
Our priests urge to listen to doctors in the matter of vaccination – in this matter we are the absolute partners of our doctors. If there are no medical indications to avoid vaccination, then you need to be vaccinated. This applies not only to the coronavirus, but also to other diseases that can be dangerous to health today.
The church wants clergy to be among the first to have access to the vaccine. We talked about this during the meeting of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches with the Prime Minister of Ukraine – we mentioned that the clergy, as well as other social workers in the country, work with people. We really want our temples to be a safe space for citizens.
If priests are included in the vaccination plan, we will advise them to take advantage of this. But we cannot force anyone into it.
Personally, I have all the vaccinations that are done in childhood. The last thing I did a few years ago – was a flu shot. It is perfectly normal for a modern person to use this opportunity to protect themselves from disease.
When the coronavirus vaccine becomes available to me as a clergyman or a person of a certain age, I will obviously accept such an offer.
It is very important for us that vaccination includes the most vulnerable segments of the population and that the vaccination plan is fair. It is important that there is no speculation about this case. Pope Francis notes that the most marginalized and poor should have the right to be vaccinated, like all other citizens.
By the way, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict have already been vaccinated. This is a very good example for all bishops, clergy, and citizens of Ukraine.
I would advise Ukrainians who are hesitant to get vaccinated to listen to their doctors. If the state of health does not cause contraindications to vaccination, it is worth protecting yourself from this disease, because we know that there are no other drugs today.
Take care of your health. If you need to be vaccinated, do it.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav for the Ukrayinska Pravda