12 September 2021

Dear friends,

The Australian Catholic Bishops offer this advice regarding the COVID 19 vaccination:

The Bishops encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for the common good, after speaking with your doctor. If there is a valid reason not to get vaccinated, people must take measures to limit the risk to themselves and others, with special care for the most vulnerable. The Bishops do not think people should be coerced to receive the vaccine, but someone not getting vaccinated (as above) must do all they can to avoid contracting and transmitting COVID. Myself and all parish staff have freely been vaccinated.

The Bishops ground their advice in the principle of the ’common good’. The common good as a foundational principle is closely intertwined with Human dignity and leads to solidarity as described by John Paul II. “When interdependence becomes recognized …, the correlative response as a moral and social attitude, as a ‘virtue,’ is solidarity. This then is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, para. 38) Because we are created as social beings, individual rights need to be experienced within the context of promotion of the common good.

God bless,

Fr Paul Smithers