Monday, September 13, 2021

Vaccines and Ecclesiastical Life

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

If some research is done among churchgoers and even during their attendance at the Divine Liturgy, it will be found that all of them have various and varied diseases and, of course, they also make the relevant treatment, following therapeutic guidance.

This is evident from the fact that in every home, especially where young children and the elderly live, there are drawers and separate areas full of medicines.

We are in a time when environmental pollution is prevalent, diseases are on the rise and therefore many medicines are being taken by humans.

Of course, the phenomenon prevails that during their movements people carry with them their personal items and medicines, because they have to take them in doses and at appropriate intervals.

Drugs bring a balance in the human body from various diseases from which a person suffers, such as stress, diabetes, heart problems, and the pains of the human body. In fact, if someone has had surgeries, then they take a lot of medicines, to the point where in order not to forget to take the relevant dose they bring with them special cases, in which there are medicines for days and for nights wherever they should be.

So we could say that modern man, who is in fact anxious, is a "living mobile hospital" or a small "portable pharmacy".

Thus, Christians come to the church, after receiving various medicines in the evening to regulate the functions of their body, or even before they come to the church. And many times they ask us: “I took this pill this morning, am I allowed to commune?"

Therefore, most people go to church under the influence of drugs and come to the church to pray, to entreat God and to glorify Him for the fact that they still exist in life, even with the help of medicine.

They know in practice that they expect from medical science the regulation of their various physical ailments, and from the Church they expect the health of their souls, to have peace in their hearts.

Experience has shown that when a churchgoer is infected by a virus and has the relevant symptoms of that virus and are not careful, they can transmit that virus to those who are praying along with them. Besides, in the church during the course of the sacred services, Lucifer himself enters and puts various thoughts in the churchgoers, which means it is natural for a virus to also enter the church and create problems for the people.

Therefore, even in times of a pandemic, all precautionary measures must be taken, as we do for other diseases. In this case, the vaccines effectively help people not to be infected by the virus, but also to not transmit it, and to avoid various unpleasant consequences, such as isolation and admission to hospitals. Of course, I cannot connect the vaccines with theological arguments, that somehow they are not needed by Christians and church members and that somehow they negate the Grace of baptism. Not only can I not connect them, but I consider such views to be blasphemous.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.