Bishop of Tucson: No religious exemptions for vaccines, mask warrants | Local News
The Bishop of Tucson, Edward Weisenburger, has ordered his clergy not to grant religious exemptions to community members who request them for COVID-19 vaccination warrants or mask requirements.
On Tuesday, the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson sent a letter to priests explaining his views on the issue after he was approached about exemptions from the vaccine and mask mandates.
In the letter, Weisenburger notes that while vaccinations are a matter of individual decision, the moral good of the community takes precedence over personal preferences.
“I don’t see how a Catholic could ask for an exemption from a vaccine or mask warrant based on their Catholic faith,” Weisenburger wrote. “Likewise, I don’t see how a Catholic minister could approve such an exemption based on our Catholic faith. Although an individual may have a certain reserve based on his conscience, such a reserve is not related to our Catholic faith. “
The Vatican’s office of orthodoxy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, released its position on COVID-19 vaccinations in December, saying vaccines can be received without moral compromise.
Weisenburger’s statement comes after Tucson City Council made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all 4,300-plus employees in the city. To qualify for an exemption due to a disability or sincere religious belief, employees had to submit an accommodation request to the city’s human resources department.