Patriarch Kirill: Church mustn’t segregate on basis of vaccination

Moscow, December 22, 2021

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Regardless of what happens in society, the Church must never become a place that is segregated based on vaccination status, the Russian Patriarch told the clergy of Moscow yesterday.

The annual diocesan meeting of the clergy of the city of Moscow was held under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill yesterday.

Many are concerned about the topic of vaccination and there are strong disagreements about both it in society and in the Church, the Patriarch noted. Speaking for himself, he said: “This is a purely medical issue, a matter of personal choice and responsibility,” reminding the clergy that he has been vaccinated.

Pat. Kirill was vaccinated in March. Though the Church has never officially revealed which of the Russian vaccines he received, various outlets have reported, with reference to sources close to the Patriarch, that he received either EpiVacCorona or CoviVac.

However, “even if the entire world becomes an arena of segregation on the basis of immunity, the Church must remain free from such segregation and accept all people who are seeking Christ,” His Holiness emphasized.

Other hierarchs from around the world have made similar statements. In March of this year, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia (Orthodox Church in America) issued a directive to his parishes insisting that vaccination status cannot become a prerequisite for participation in the life of the Church.”

Several hierarchs serving in Australia, including His Grace Bishop George of Cranberra (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), His Grace Bishop Siluan of Australia and New Zealand (Serbian Church), and Archbishop Makarios (Patriarchate of Constantinople), have made similar statements.

Earlier this month, the Russian primate urged the faithful to go to church, emphasizing that “the last thing to be afraid of is getting sick in church,” because “the grace of God is here,” and the churches follow sanitary measures.

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Jason Garwood12/23/2021 1:11 am
Well said, Seraphim
Seraphim Collins12/22/2021 5:13 pm
I agree with this. The vaccine and the related covid directives are personal matters. I am in the UK where we now have the highest rates of infection we have ever had, despite 90% of adults being vaccinated, and they are now insisting on third (and possibly) fourth "booster" vaccines - all in the space of one year. The main pressure put on the unvaccinated was that of transmission, but no one is talking about this now as it is so absurd in the face the recent stats. So these things are and should be purely personal decisions: if you want 3, 4, 5 vaccines, then have them, if you want to cover your face in Church, do so, but if don't, then that should be fine too. The tolerance should be in both directions.
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