CV NEWS FEED // The leaders of the South Dakota Catholic Conference stated this week that they oppose vaccine mandates, and that Catholics can object to a Covid-19 shot on religious principles.
The bishops of South Dakota stated: “One may accept Covid-19 vaccines in good conscience if certain conditions are met, but doing so is not a universal moral duty.”
But the South Dakota bishops also noted:
The Church teaches and right reason affirms that, as a general rule, free and informed consent is required prior to all medical treatments and procedures, including vaccination.
Consent is informed if a person knows the essential nature of the proposed treatment and its benefits; its risks, side-effects, consequences, and cost; and any reasonable and morally legitimate alternatives, including no treatment at all.
Consent is free if one has the ability to decline a medical intervention following discernment of relevant information and in accord with one’s certain conscience, without coercion or fear of punishment.
Notably, the South Dakota bishops stated that those Catholics who do not want to receive the Covid-19 shot are doing so consistent with Catholic moral principles.
[A] Catholic may, after consideration of relevant information and moral principles, discern it to be right or wrong to receive one of the available Covid-19 vaccines. If he or she thus comes to the sure conviction in conscience that they should not receive it, we believe this is a sincere religious belief, as they are bound before God to follow their conscience. We support any Catholic who has come to this conviction in seeking religious exemption from any Covid-19 requirement.
The rest of the statement, signed by Bishop Donald DeGrood of Sioux Falls and Bishop Peter Muhich of Rapid City, can be read here.
The statement by the South Dakota bishops comes just days after a similar statement by the Catholic bishops of Colorado.