Recent letters in The Keene Sentinel and Monadnock Ledger-Transcript supporting vaccination were made on the basis of “love of one’s neighbor.” They were signed by 12 church leaders representing eight Christian denominations and one of the Jewish faith. Noticeably absent was support by a single Catholic leader.

Some Catholic bishops and priests openly resist vaccine mandates despite the Pope’s support for global vaccination efforts and his requirement that all Vatican employees must be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. These leaders seem to forget the mark of a Christian life, “love of one’s neighbor.” They are emphasizing personal freedom rather than seeking the common good and having compassion for one another.

Perhaps the Vatican-led preparation for the 2023 Synod of Bishops which began on Oct. 10 could lead to more common agreement and more caring communities. In this Synod, Pope Francis hopes to engage the entire people of God “walking together” towards the third millennium. Each bishop is to gather input from local parishes, lay movements, religious institutions, schools, ecumenical communities and other groups and submit reports as starting points for a discussion in 2022.

Francis’ appeal to listen to all is hopeful for the church and the world, but we laity in New Hampshire still have not been invited by our bishop to participate.



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