No mandatory vaccination at Valaam, says ROC Deputy Administrator

Moscow, July 1, 2021     

Monks and workers of Valaam Monastery who do not wish to receive the COVID vaccine will not be expelled from the monastery, according to His Grace Bishop Savva of Zelenograd, the Deputy Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Bp. Savva explained that Valaam Monastery is stravropegic, and therefore all major decisions require approval from the Patriarch.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has not endorsed mandatory vaccinations in monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church. At this time, no monks or laborers have been expelled from the monastery.

“As for Valaam, as of today, there is no more talk of compulsion. Vladyka Pankraty is trying to exhort the brethren in a fatherly way. There can be no question of ‘eviction’ due to non-vaccination,” Bp. Savva wrote on his official Telegram channel yesterday.

His Grace Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, the abbot of Valaam, had told RIA-Novosti last week that he was introducing a mandatory vaccination policy at the monastery, and any monks or workers who did not want to be vaccinated would have to leave the monastery. He also stated that he nearly died during his own recent bout with COVID.

At this time, we do not have any information as to the number of monks who do not wish to be vaccinated.

Bp. Savva also emphasized that the Moscow city measures on the obligatory vaccination of certain workers does not apply to religious organizations, as stated in the circular issued by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill yesterday.

And during his annual televised “Direct Line” Q and A session yesterday, President Vladimir Putin stated that he is against mandatory vaccination and explained that State Duma Deputies also opposed making the COVID vaccine mandatory on the federal level. However, according to a 1998 law, regional leaders have the right to introduce mandatory vaccination for certain categories of citizens on the recommendation of their local chief sanitary doctor.

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George 7/3/2021 10:27 am
I would suggest people stray from mainstream media from time to time and see what the real agenda is here. Church leaders need to awaken to this globalist agenda to introduce dangerous vaccines to reduce population and " mark " every man woman and child . Time is short ,
Michael7/2/2021 12:33 am
Glory to God! Threatening others with expulsion because of fear of death is so alien to the Orthodox faith, not to mention the abbot had the vaccine and still got COVID! So relieved to hear this good news.
Theophan Steele7/1/2021 8:46 pm
An obedient monk is foundational to a monastery...but...An Abbott and any spiritual father knows that a "one size fits all" approach to healing a person from sin or disease, does not work. St. John Chrysostom says "For as a king could not make a physician or an orator, so neither can he make a ruler: since it is not the (imperial) letters nor the name that makes a ruler. For, if you will, let any man build a medicine-shop, let him also have pupils, let him have instruments too and drugs, and let him visit those who are sick: are these things sufficient to make a physician? By no means: but there is need of art, and without that, not only do these things profit nothing, but they even hurt: since it were better that he who is not a physician should not even possess medicines. He that possesses them not, neither saves nor destroys: but he that possesses them, destroys, if he knows not how to use them: since the healing power is not only in the nature of the medicines, but also in the art of the person applying them: where this is not, all is marred." The Complete Works of St. John Chrysostom, Homily 52 on the Acts of the Apostles, Acts XXV. 23, page 1933, shortly after the reference on Acts 28:20
Theodore7/1/2021 7:41 pm
Thank God!
Herman7/1/2021 5:59 pm
Glory to God that this abuse of authority has been corrected. Hopefully this is not just a temporary situation for our monasteries and churches, and there will truly never be mandatory vaccinations required to enter our places of worship, at least in Russia. As for the mandatory vaccination in the regions, maybe it's time for Putin to update that 1998 law, because right now the QR codes are being required for some public transport in some regions as well... which extends far past the so-called "60% quota on workers". At this point, some form of mandatory vaccination has been introduced in 23 regions of the Russian Federation. That's half of the 46 regions... perhaps it's only inevitable that eventually our churches will be forced to comply with this as well, but at least, they are exempt for the time being.
PJ7/1/2021 4:09 pm
Very happy to read that no monks or workers will be expelled from Valaam simply for following their consciences and that President Putin and the State Duma are also against mandatory vaccinations. With regard to Bishop Savva emphasizing “that the Moscow city measures on the obligatory vaccination of certain workers does not apply to religious organizations” - while that is also good to hear, I’m sure many, if not most, of those working for the city of Moscow in civilian jobs are also Orthodox Christians, and I would hope the Russian Orthodox Church would support their right to also follow their consciences without risking their jobs.
Paul7/1/2021 3:53 pm
God be praised! Such good news.
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