Met. Anthony clarifies Church’s position on vaccination against coronavirus

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary. Photo:

The Church does not prohibit vaccination, the decision whether to be vaccinated or not should be made by a person independently and voluntarily, said the UOC Chancellor.

The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, presented in the programme “Church and Society” three fundamental positions of the UOC on vaccination issues.

First of all, the hierarch noted that there are no official documents of the Church that would prohibit parishioners or the clergy from being vaccinated against coronavirus or other diseases, and “if you hear that someone prohibits vaccinations and motivates this with religious beliefs, you need to understand that this is the personal attitude of this person, not the official position."

In his opinion, the issue of vaccination is not religious, and each person must independently decide whether to be vaccinated or not, taking into account the state of health and medical recommendations. But the Church has a number of principled positions with regard to vaccination, and the UOC Chancellor voiced them once again.

First, any vaccination – against coronavirus or other diseases – must be voluntary. A person can refuse it, and Ukrainian legislation provides for such a possibility, but at the same time they “must understand that they are responsible for the state of their health and their family”.

Secondly, information on the composition of the vaccine should be transparent and open. The metropolitan clarified that vaccines against coronavirus are still "young", and there is very little information about the substances they are made up of. At the same time, it is important for a Christian to know if the preparation contains cell lines obtained from aborted babies, which is a fundamental prohibition for a believer.

Thirdly, refusal to vaccinate should not lead to a restriction of human rights and freedoms, and “the Church insists that the issue of vaccination cannot be a reason for limiting our rights that are given to us by God Himself,” emphasized Metropolitan Anthony.

As reported, the Pope and the Phanar head called on everyone to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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