Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Public Safety

Bishop Of San Diego Discourages Religious Vaccine Exemptions

Bishop Robert McElroy consecrates a memorial wall at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro, September 20, 2015.
Jean Guerrero
Bishop Robert McElroy consecrates a memorial wall at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro, September 20, 2015.

The Diocese of San Diego says using religious beliefs as a reason to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t valid.

In fact, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has asked priests to “caringly decline” any requests from members seeking a religious exemption.

RELATED: How Churches Are Influencing Vaccine Decisions

Bishop Of San Diego Discourages Religious Vaccine Exemptions
Listen to this story by Alexandra Rangel.

Kevin Eckery with the Diocese of San Diego said the Catholic Church fully supports vaccination.

“There’s nothing in Catholic faith or doctrine that says that there is religious exemption for getting the vaccine. In fact it is really the opposite. The Pope, Bishop McElroy, says there is a moral responsibility here,” he said.

Many of the local priests have set the example by getting vaccinated.

With priests being so close to the public, Eckery said it’s important that they have the protection the vaccine provides.

“We've had vaccination programs working with the hospital at our headquarters. Inviting all the priests and deacons to receive the vaccination.”

VIDEO: Bishop of San Diego Discourages Religious Vaccine Exemptions

Eckery said they have had some phone calls from people asking about exemptions, but they haven't seen much pushback.

However that might change now that vaccine mandates are being implemented across the state.