We received the following open letter addressed to Cardinal Cupich from an employee of the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding the mandatory vaccination mandates the diocese has imposed on all clergy and lay employees.
Dear Cardinal Cupich,
I have been employed by the archdiocese of Chicago for over twenty years. In that time, I have served at various Catholic schools in the diocese including roles as a teacher and a principal. As a young person, I left a lucrative career in the business world to devote myself to serving others in the ministry of Catholic education. My time working with both children and families has been a truly a blessing and I have faithfully and devotedly ministered to hundreds of Catholic children and adults over the course of my career.
On August 19, 2021 I received an email from you outlining the Archdiocesan COVID Vaccination Policy. In that email you said that you had approved this policy written with the help of the Archdiocesan Covid-19 Task Force. You also stated and I quote, “Religious exemptions to vaccination cannot be supported by Catholic teaching and I have instructed our pastors not to grant them.”
Your eminence, are you not aware of the document published by the Congregation of the Faith on the morality of Covid-19 vaccines published December 21, 2020? Point number five states the following, “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” Thus, it appears the Catholic Church teaches that one must not be forced to take a COVID-19 vaccine against their will.
Additionally, Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services published by the USCCB states, ““Catholic health care institutions should not make use of human tissue obtained by direct abortions even for research and therapeutic purposes.”
Apparently, your understanding of Catholic teaching dramatically differs from the Congregation of the Faith as you have decided that 100% of the employees and clergy in the Archdiocese of Chicago must be vaccinated – even against their will. You also appear to advocate for the use of aborted fetuses to be used in the research, development and creation of these Covid-19 vaccines. I do not hold your view. I am vehemently opposed to these vaccines as it would be sinful to cooperate, even indirectly, in the crime of abortion by allowing one to be administered to me.
Regardless of your flawed personal opinion on allowable religious exemptions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Guidance on the protection of sincere religious beliefs allows for the individual to hold a sincere belief concerning the immorality of the current Covid-19 vaccines regardless of what a particular denomination may profess. To quote the EEOC’s Guidance document in the Code of Federal Regulations, “The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee…” So, by not allowing any religious exemptions for Archdiocesan clergy and employees, you are in violation of federal law.
I also wonder, your eminence, where is the accompaniment of which you so often and eloquently refer to for the diverse, the oppressed and the fringes of society? Are not the conscientious objectors to aborted tainted vaccines worthy of your respect and to be on a journey of accompaniment with you – so you can understand how we feel and why we made this decision? You yourself once said, “Listen, talk, be respectful of people – and make sure that you have openness to where people are coming from. And you don’t do anything that is unnecessarily antagonistic, that is only going to make you feel good because you’ve done it.”
Do you feel good about what you have done to the unvaccinated? Truth be told, these punitive policies do seem unnecessarily antagonistic. The isolation and humiliation that you are imposing is akin to the treatment of the unclean. We are modern-day lepers. The following is part of your Covid-19 Vaccination Policy:
- The Archdiocese reserves the right to prohibit unvaccinated employees/clergy from entering archdiocesan facilities.
- Unvaccinated individuals may be restricted from use of certain amenities such as eating in lunchrooms if appropriate social distancing and/or other mitigation measures cannot be implemented to maintain a safe environment.
- Non-compliance with the provisions of this policy may result in disciplinary action for those individuals.
Your policies are nothing more than an attempt to bully and intimidate those, who due to deeply held beliefs, will not subject themselves to a tyrannical and immoral forced vaccination. Cardinal Cupich, know this – I will not bend to your dictates, I will not comply, I will not obey. If I am subject to the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “disciplinary actions” so be it. At least I will have a clear conscience and know I have not sacrificed the life of another to save my own or have in any way, shape or form, condoned or contributed in the killing of an innocent human life.
A Determined Employee of the Archdiocese of Chicago
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.