Australia | Priests with ‘Conscientious Objection’ to Vaccines

Catholic Archbishop of Hobart The Most Reverend Julian Porteous has clarified his position in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations, and Tasmanian Catholic clergy who have a conscientious objection to receiving COVID vaccinations.

“I support the rollout of approved COVID-19 vaccinations as a means for personal protection against the COVID virus and for the sake of the common good,” His Grace said.

“I myself have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Archbishop Porteous explained that he wrote to the Tasmanian premier and health minister seeking advice about clergy who wished to continue their ministry in aged care facilities but had a conscientious objection to receiving a COVID vaccination.

“I asked the government for advice to see if a very small number of priests in Tasmania who have a conscientious objection to receiving a COVID vaccine, could be tested using a rapid antigen testing kit prior to entering an aged care facility to continue their ministry.

“I proposed that the testing be carried out by a medical practitioner to ensure the priest is free of the virus; ensuring the safety of staff and clients at the aged care facility.”

Archbishop Porteous said he has not yet received a response from the Tasmanian government.