The Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains has launched a multilingual, multicultural, and multimedia information campaign about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The campaign aims to help the various migrant communities of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains receive information about the COVID-19 vaccine and why the Catholic Church considers vaccination “an act of love.”
A highlight of the campaign is a podcast event featuring Bishop Richard Umbers, Auxiliary Bishop from the Archdiocese of Sydney, who will feature alongside a doctor and lawyer, explaining the theological, medical and legal implications of the vaccine. Parishioners are invited to submit questions in advance of the event.
The Diocese of Parramatta, which is running the campaign, has also created messages in support of vaccination from Catholic leaders including Pope Francis, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, and Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, NZ and Oceania. The information reassures people of faith that vaccinations are consistent with Catholic morality and promote the common good.
Catering to the many cultural groups in the Diocese, the messages have been translated into 12 other languages including Arabic, Dinka, Hindi, Chinese and Vietnamese.
Fr Peter Williams, Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia of the Diocese of Parramatta said, “The Catholic Church strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination as a means of protecting individuals and the wider community.
“Pope Francis advocates for people to be vaccinated, as does the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC),” he said.
“People of faith can get vaccinated knowing they have the full support of their Church.
“Pope Francis has also said being vaccinated is ‘an act of love.’”
The Catholic parishes in Parramatta, Blacktown and Emerton have also hosted vaccination clinics for vulnerable community groups including the Sudanese community, as well as refugees and Aboriginal communities.
“We are keen to support the NSW Health initiatives as best we can during this crisis,” said Fr Peter.
“We hope these initiatives for communities that may be harder to reach will both protect those who receive the vaccine, and demonstrate to others the commitment the Catholic Church has to this issue,” he said.
The free podcast “Catholic teaching and the COVID-19 vaccine” will feature Bishop Richard Umbers, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Dr Ruella Clipsham, Emergency Room doctor and Graham Connolly, Barrister. Details of when it will be broadcast will be promoted shortly.
Questions can be submitted in advance to email@example.com by 12 September 2021.
Information on the Catholic Church’s position on the COVID-19 vaccine can be downloaded for sharing at https://parracatholic.org/covid19/