Cardinal Blase J. Cupich Encourages Everyone to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Chicago, (Dec. 23, 2020) – Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, and other local clergy were invited by Guy A. Medaglia, president and chief executive officer of Saint Anthony Hospital, to receive their vaccinations against COVID-19 as part of the hospital’s campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy among the communities Saint Anthony serves. Saint Anthony, a safety net hospital in a community disproportionately affected by the pandemic, has served the near west and southwest sides for more than a century.
Today, Cardinal Cupich along with Very Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pastor Richard Nelson, of The Greater Open Door Baptist Church and Saint Anthony Hospital board member, and Rev. Donald Nevins, pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia Church in Chicago received their COVID-19 vaccinations at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago.
By agreeing to be vaccinated, Cardinal Cupich wants to encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. His endorsement of the campaign for immunizations follows a statement from the Vatican stating COVID-19 vaccines are a morally acceptable means of promoting the common good amid the global pandemic.
“I am grateful to Saint Anthony Hospital for their efforts to build confidence in this vaccination and to Pope Francis for his clear moral guidance on the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Cardinal Cupich. “The pandemic has devastated families and communities around the world, particularly the poor and marginalized. The vaccines offer a ray of hope that the world will unite in our common humanity to bring about health and healing. Faith leaders must now step forward and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”
Some vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, were developed by using cell lines originating from fetal tissue obtained in the 1960s. This has raised morality questions, which the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified by stating: “the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one's own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good. In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.” The statement asserts that those who refuse the vaccine for reasons of conscience, must avoid transmitting the virus particularly to anyone who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons.
In the coming weeks, the Archdiocese of Chicago will roll out a multi-media COVID-19 vaccination awareness campaign to educate Catholics on the importance of being vaccinated. The campaign will include video messages from Cardinal Cupich and other Church leaders, posters and bulletins for churches and schools, and flyers for parishioners and school families. The materials will focus not only on the importance of being vaccinated, but also the continued importance of adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines: wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of social distance from others, washing of hands, using hand sanitizer, and other precautions to prevent the spread of the deadly virus until everyone is vaccinated.