By Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia

The latest developments in the course of the pandemic mandate compulsory, universal vaccination of the entire population of our country in order avoid the phenomena of the previous stages of the pandemic.

Making vaccination mandatory is an act of humanitarianism and an expression of moral duty and philanthropy toward our fellow human beings and ourselves.

Refusing vaccination on the grounds that it constitutes entrapment and in order to satisfy ideological fixations is unacceptable in any system of morals. That is because when one is confronted with the dilemma “life or death”, there is no room for any answer other than life.

Compulsory vaccination is mandated by our humanitarianism. If one is truly humane one cannot refuse vaccination and endanger one’s own life and those of one’s fellow human beings.

This is the moral dimension of mandatory vaccination. The manner in which it will be enforced is an issue for the state to manage. A compulsoriness in the name of life that fends off death cannot be evaluated on the basis of legal or other arguments.

No individual right can be respected when it is viewed autonomously and independently of the collective reality of human life and society.

Respect for the life of our neighbour constitutes recognition of our own responsibility and our right as real and decent human beings.

However, when a human being becomes the cause of his or her own death and that of fellow human beings, then our relationship with God, ourselves, and our fellow human beings is not expressed as a relationship with life but rather with death, and that is why it is understood as sinful.

Therefore, when with our refusal to be vaccinated we cause the death of our fellow human, we sin.

Especially truly pious Christians should listen to and trust the Church, as expressed responsibly by the Holy Synod, and not listen to the Sirens of disinformation and disorientation.

Until today, the official stance of the Church in support of vaccination is a given. The majority of hierarchs [Metropolitan bishops] and priests are backing this effort, because we believe that vaccines equip us to protect all our lives.

There is nothing metaphysical about this. There is no room for superstition or conspiracy theories that can sway people away from being vaccinated.

Compulsory vaccination is thus the key criterion in distinguishing between boldness and timidity, between responsibility and irresponsibility.