On December 22, 2021, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, speaking at the annual Diocesan meeting of the clergy of the city of Moscow, touched upon the topic of vaccination against coronavirus infection, which became an occasion for wide discussion both among believers and in society as a whole, the Patriarchate reports. ru.
“I know that many are worried about the topic of vaccination against coronavirus infection and that among the clergy and laity, just as in the whole society, there are disagreements on this matter. Someone thinks that vaccination should be compulsory for everyone, someone – that it should be completely voluntary. Someone even considers it unnecessary or even unacceptable, ”His Holiness the Patriarch addressed the participants in the Diocesan Assembly.
“As you know, I myself was vaccinated last year on the basis of doctors’ recommendations. At the same time, I am convinced that being vaccinated or not is not at all a doctrinal question. This is a purely medical issue, a matter of personal choice and responsibility of a person, his life experience, ”His Holiness continued.
According to him, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, “even if the whole world becomes an arena for segregation on the basis of an immune system, the Church must remain free from such segregation and accept all people striving for Christ”.
His Holiness the Patriarch recalled that in May of the outgoing year in Moscow, the secretariat of the Inter-Council Presence organized a discussion on the topic of vaccination against coronavirus with the involvement of competent specialists. As His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted, “following the results of this meeting, a fairly balanced position was formulated.”
“On the one hand, it was re-emphasized that” the Russian Orthodox Church consistently adheres to the principles of protecting the freedom of choice of a person in the use or non-use of new and rapidly developing technologies, including in the field of medicine. ” At the same time, the meeting participants recalled that “the historical experience of the Russian Orthodox Church knows examples of the active participation of clergy in the spread of the practice of vaccination,” thanks to which many epidemics known in the past came to naught, “His Holiness said.
According to His Holiness, the abuse of pastoral authority on this and similar issues is completely unacceptable, “vaccination can in no way be regarded as a sign of apostasy.”
“At the same time, both deliberate insufficient and inaccurate informing people about the effects of vaccines and the spread of unverified rumors and myths about the consequences of vaccination should be called a sin of lies,” concluded the Primate of the Russian Church.