The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has come out with a strong pro-vaccination push towards its faithful in the United States, according to an official announcement from the Synod, or committee of bishops that comprise the U.S.-based church.
According to the Synodical statement, “the hierarchs unanimously affirmed that the Church not only permits vaccinations against diseases (e.g. polio, smallpox), but that She encourages Her Faithful, after medical tests and approbations, to be vaccinated with the approved vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).”
The church also pushed back against attempts of Greek Orthodox Christians to receive “religious exemptions” from the vaccine, stating emphatically that “there is no exemption in the Orthodox Church for Her faithful from any vaccination for religious reasons, including the coronavirus vaccine.”
The announcement included a strong admonition to the 500+ priests of the Archdiocese to refrain from issuing “religious exemption letters” to faithful.
For this reason, letters of exemption for the vaccination against the coronavirus for religious purposes issued by priests of the Archdiocese of America have no validity, and furthermore, no clergy are to issue such religious exemption letters for any reason.
The Synod also urged Greek Orthodox Christian faithful to avoid misinformation circulating in social media circles from conspiracy theories.
“The Holy Eparchial Synod urges the faithful to pay heed to competent medical authorities, and to avoid the false narratives utterly unfounded in science and perpetrated on the Church by those who have succumbed to the disinformation and conspiracy theories that are widely available on social media sites,” said the statement.
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