Croatian Justice and Peace Commission: Getting Vaccinated is Act of Love

By 6 December 2021
Croatian Justice and Peace Commission: Getting Vaccinated is Act of Love
Photo: Slaven Branislav Babic/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 6 Dec 2021 - The Iustitia et Pax Commission of the Croatian Conference of Catholic Bishops (HBK) on Monday joined Pope Francis in his appeal for getting vaccinated, explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic requires responsible behavior, including renouncing personal freedoms.

The HBK commission issued a press release in which it recommends vaccination against coronavirus as an act of love, as suggested by Pope Francis in several appeals, however, the Croatian Justice and Peace Commission also warned against making use of COVID certificates as an indirect form of coercion.

The press release reads that the COVID-19 pandemic caught everybody unprepared and it "often juxtaposes the fundamental values and the acquired freedoms."

"All of that requires of us to show great responsibility and prudence, as well as to make sacrifices for the sake of our fellow humans, including relinquishing certain personal freedoms."

The press release signed by the commission's president, Osijek Archbishop Đuro Hranić, reads that the developments had led to the social conflicts and divisions that caused mistrust of institutions and science, thus creating space for pseudo-scientific speech and conspiracy theories.

In this context, the commission mentions cases of persons who negated the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic and spread fear, which was conducive to the rifts in the society.

Admitting that some of those pandemic negators are members of the Church, the commission says that such persons have done damage to themselves as well as to fellow humans and to the reputation of the Catholic Church.

The press release further reads that vaccination is not a moral obligation and ought to be on a voluntary basis, however, the conscience of individuals must not become blind.

Thus, during the pandemic, people are called upon to take care of each other, and in this spirit, they are expected to follow the appeal of Pope Francis who has underscored on several occasions that getting vaccinated is an act of love.

The commission also underscores that all the approved vaccines against coronavirus are morally acceptable, as stated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and also points out the importance of complying with all the epidemiological rules, including testing and inoculation.

Vaccination on a voluntary basis

The press release, however, calls for avoiding making use of COVID-19 certificates as indirect coercion for immunization or making use of vaccination as a precondition for employment, as this causes fear and resistance among people.

For more, check out our politics section.

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