SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento had told all priests and deacons not to sign religious exemption letters for COVID-19 vaccines.
Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto sent his instructions out in a letter sent last Friday.
“The individual disciple of the Lord Jesus should not only look to one’s own personal benefit but also to the common good of public health that will be served by receiving the vaccine,” Bishop Soto wrote.
Back in December, the Vatican declared that it was “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses.
“Doctrinal and moral guidance by both the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See and the Doctrine Committee of the United States Catholic Conference have provided the clergy and faithful with clear teaching that Catholic men and women may receive the COVID-19 vaccine in good conscience,” Soto’s letter reads.
Before Sacramento issued its most recent mask mandate, Bishop Soto wrote similar letters to all parishes recommending mask-wearing indoors. Friday’s letter also brings up the importance of masks and social distancing, with Soto writing that parishioners “should also keep in mind the moral obligations of charity to care for others in the community, especially the most vulnerable.”
Bishop Soto’s letter can be read in full below.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.