Catholic military archbishop supports personnel who refuse COVID-19 vaccine

by Seth Udinski
Catholic military archbishop supports personnel who refuse COVID-19 vaccine

Seth Udinski, FISM News


In the wake of President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates, many U.S. military members are faced with the difficult decision of either taking a drug against their will or lose their job in the military.

Some clergymen in the military, however, are now speaking out for those who do not feel comfortable taking the jab.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the Archdiocese for Military Services in the U.S., came to the defense of these individuals in a statement on Tuesday, highlighting those who would deny the shot due to conscience:

This circumstance raises the question of whether the vaccine’s moral permissibility precludes an individual from forming a sincerely held religious belief that receiving the vaccine would violate his conscience. It does not. Individuals possess the ‘civil right not to be hindered in leading their lives in accordance with their consciences.’ Even if an individual’s decision seems erroneous or inconsistent to others, conscience does not lose its dignity. This belief permeates Catholic moral theology as well as First Amendment jurisprudence. The denial of religious accommodations, or punitive or adverse personnel actions taken against those who raise earnest, conscience-based objections, would be contrary to federal law and morally reprehensible.

It is unlikely that Archbishop Broglio’s words will have an impact on the current administration in Washington. His words bring to light the moral quandary in which many religious military personnel are trapped, and highlights the “morally reprehensible” act of denying a person the freedom to make an informed health decision.

The deadlines set by the president for total inoculation in the military are fast approaching. The U.S. Air Force must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 2, the U.S. Navy and Marines by November 28, and the U.S. Army by December 15.