Vatican reaffirms support for COVID-19 vaccines amid spread of omicron variant

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Christmas tree, Dec. 9, 2021. / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Vatican City, Dec 22, 2021 / 06:30 am (CNA).

The Vatican underlined its support for COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday amid global concern about the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

The Holy See press office issued a statement reiterating the Vatican’s stance on vaccines on Dec. 22, following the release of two new documents on the pandemic by curial departments and the first anniversary of a declaration by its doctrinal congregation.

It said: “Following today’s publication of the new documents of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life, one year after the publication of the Note on the same topic by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the official communiqué of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, it seems appropriate to reaffirm the Holy See’s position in favor of vaccines.”

“The Holy Father has defined vaccination as ‘an act of love,’ since it is aimed at the protection of people against COVID-19. In addition, he recently reiterated the need for the international community to further intensify its cooperation efforts so that all have rapid access to vaccines, not as a matter of convenience, but of justice.”

The Vatican’s intervention comes as countries around the world impose new restrictions aimed at slowing a rise in infections caused by the omicron variant, which is believed to spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The measures have prompted protests in several European countries.

An estimated 44,000 people attended a rally against compulsory vaccines in Vienna on Dec. 11, after the government announced that Austria would become the first Western country to introduce mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 from February 2022.

Italy has seen strikes and protests in response to the government’s decision to make the country’s Green Pass mandatory for workers.

A Green Pass proves that the holder has been vaccinated, tested negative every 48 hours, or recently recovered from COVID-19.

Wednesday’s Vatican statement did not touch on the debate about mandatory vaccination.

The Vatican last addressed the topic in December 2020, when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in its “Note on the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines” that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

The doctrinal congregation added that Catholics who, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, “must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”

Pope Francis and senior Vatican officials have repeatedly urged Catholics to be vaccinated against the virus throughout 2021 and called for a just distribution of vaccines.

The Vatican began administering doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in January and confirmed in February that Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI had received the second dose of the vaccine. It began to administer the third dose in October.

Pope Francis recorded a public service announcement supporting vaccinations that was released in August in collaboration with the Ad Council.

In the PSA, he said: “Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love, no matter how small, love is always grand.”

Since October, the Vatican has required all visitors and personnel to show a COVID-19 pass proving that they have been vaccinated, have recovered from the coronavirus, or have tested negative for the disease.

Three Swiss Guards quit after refusing to comply with the Vatican’s vaccine requirement and three other guards were suspended until they were fully vaccinated.

The Vatican COVID-19 Commission issued a document on Dec. 22 called “Children and COVID-19.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown countless children into severe poverty and left many without parents and caregivers,” it said.

“Worldwide, there has been increased exploitation of and violence against children and reduced or suspended access to educational facilities. Governments, civil society organizations, and the Church must come together to alleviate the escalating suffering of the most vulnerable children among us.”

The Pontifical Academy for Life also released a text on Wednesday, entitled “Pandemic and Challenges for Education,” focusing on the difficulties facing children and adolescents.

“Even if its effects are not immediately evident, all over the world the psychosocial stress that children are subjected to as a result of the pandemic has resulted in distress and illnesses that have widely differing consequences based on age and social and environmental conditions,” it said.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 10594 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. With all due respect, an “act of love” must be voluntary. When done under compulsion, such as threatened loss of employment, dishonorable discharge from the military, travel restrictions, limitations on access to public places etc; the act is more akin to a victim compelled to “consent” to an act of sexual assault, than an act of love.

    Further, I’ve seen no full assessment as to the exact nature of the evil involved; an evil which Catholic teaching admits takes place and which one cooperates with (albeit “remotely”) when taking these shots. Yet it most likely wasn’t a singular act of abortion, but almost certainly dozens of abortions, done in a particularly brutal and torturous manner, more akin to a partial birth abortion. The evil also encompasses the mutilation of a corpse and the commoditization of human life involving a continuous and ongoing commercial enterprise. One’s cooperation with evil doesn’t begin and end with one abortion. The evil is ongoing. Doesn’t cooperation give every incentive to these makers to continue their evil ways? Why would they change anything given the obscene profits they’re making?

    And will Church leaders ever get around to doing what our teaching documents seem to compel them to do; clearly condemn by name those who are profiteering from these monstrous acts, namely the manufacturers themselves and anyone else profiting from them?

    It’s one thing to take a product with serious reservations and with great regret. Another altogether to taut it and endorse it, which is what is being done. And the taking of it is only morally permissible, again per clear Catholic teaching, if and only if there are no alternatives. Is that actually true? Seems that there are alternatives. Most of them are being actively suppressed; again without a peep of protest from anyone in high authority in the Church. Why?

  2. If the organs from which these products were derived, whether in production or testing, had been obtained from a murdered concentration camp victim, would it still be an “act of love” to use them? I submit it would be unthinkable. The products would never have been made in the first place, so great would the revulsion be. But the innocent unborn seem to be fit material for research and exploitation. Where is the love for them in all this?

  3. Unable to shake its addiction to the zeitgeist the post-conciliar Bergoglian pontificate steps in it again. Are they complicit in the nefarious mendacity or clueless?

  4. The virus/nature has made this latest document sort of moot point. You have football teams with 100% vaccinated having large breakouts of the virus. The vaccinated are passing the Delta virus as much or more than the unvaccinated right now. And then there is the new variant Omicron, which is taking off like a raging wildfire and the vaccine is useless with Omicron. It doubles every other day and will blow through the population like crazy for about a month. There is no stopping it. My area is getting slammed right now. Then hopefully this is the last of it. Natural immunity for most of the population. The virus did an end run around science. This document is already outdated. One more point, it is also an act of love not to harm children and youth with experimental treatments that may cause grave harm to our future generations. This is a grave concern that the Vatican and the bishops should be talking about.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Vatican reaffirms support for COVID-19 vaccines amid spread of omicron variant – Via Nova Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.