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Pope says getting COVID-19 vaccine a ‘moral obligation’ – NBC Chicago

Pope Francis suggested on Monday that getting the coronavirus vaccine was a “moral obligation” and denounced how people had been swayed by “baseless information” to deny one of the most effective life-saving measures during the pandemic.

Francis used some of his strongest words to call for people to get vaccinated in a speech to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, an annual event in which he sets out the Vatican’s foreign policy goals for the year.

Francis, 85, has generally avoided talking about the vaccination as a “moral obligation”, although his COVID-19 advisers have called it a “moral responsibility”. that refusing to be vaccinated was “suicidal”.

On Monday, he went further, saying that individuals have a responsibility to take care of themselves “and that translates into respect for the health of those around us. Health care is a moral obligation, ”he said.

He lamented that more and more ideological divisions discourage people from getting vaccinated.

“Frequently, people allow themselves to be swayed by the ideology of the moment, often reinforced by baseless information or poorly documented facts,” he said, calling for the adoption of “reality therapy” to correct this distortion.

“Vaccines are not a magic cure, but they surely represent, in addition to other treatments which must be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease”, he added.

Some Catholics, including some conservative American bishops and cardinals, have claimed that vaccines based on research using cells derived from aborted fetuses were immoral and refused to receive the vaccines.

The Vatican Doctrine Office, however, said it was “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research using cells derived from aborted fetuses. Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have been fully vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Francis reiterated his call for universal access to vaccines, especially in regions of the world with low immunization rates, and called for revisions to patent rules so that poorer countries can develop their own vaccines.

“It is appropriate that institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization adapt their legal instruments lest monopoly rules constitute additional obstacles to production and to organized and coherent access to resources. global health care, ”he said.

“The unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. “These choices were fueled by cable TV and social media. These companies and personalities make money by peddling lies and misinformation that can kill their own customers and their own supporters. It’s wrong. It is immoral.

Francois delivered the speech in front of a much smaller group of diplomats than usual and skipped the part of the audience that the ambassadors savor: a chance to greet him personally and exchange a few words. The restrictions were clearly a response to the exponential increase in coronavirus cases in Italy.

On other issues, François deplored the devastation of Syria, calling for “political and constitutional reforms” so that the country can “be reborn”, and urged that any sanctions avoid targeting civilians. He did not name Russia by name but called for “acceptable and lasting solutions” for Ukraine and the South Caucasus, inspired by “mutual trust and the will to engage in a calm discussion”.

And he also urged more open communications to avoid culture wars, not to mention gender ideology or other hot topics by name.

“(Some attitudes) leave no room for freedom of expression and now take the form of the ‘culture of cancellation’ that pervades many circles and public institutions. Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up canceling any sense of identity, at the risk of silencing positions, “he warned.

NBC Chicago

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