Hi All! I have recently received a letter from our parish’s school, where our ds attends Kindergarten, and our dd is supposed to attend Pre-K in the Fall - stating that our Diocese is implementing a new policy. The letter is from the school principal and it states,
“The Diocese has notified us, that all students attending school must be immunized unless a written note from your doctor indicating medical reasons for not immunizing your child exists. Being that we are a Catholic school, you are not allowed to claim a religious exemption. This is in accordance with Diocesan Policy #5150.” The letter goes on to give a name and address for submitting a “written, brief statement of objection”, and then staying she wanted us to “be aware that we will be abiding by the State requirements and Bishop’s Diocesan Policy regarding immunizations.”
Any thoughts on WHY they would go against State Law with a policy such as this? What kind of liability do they think they might have here? I just don’t get this at all! Illinois law allows for religious and medical exemption - and does not require membership in a church specifically against medical treatment, etc. It is my understanding that the Supreme Court has also made a statement on the broad coverage that “religious exemption” holds in terms of immunization. We are satisfied with the research we have done and the decision we have made to allow God’s design of our bodies remain as is.
The wording of this particular letter seems to say that because We are Catholic, I cannot claim religious exemption from immunization at a Catholic school. Why? As far as I know, the Church does not stand for or against immunization. What if I were not Catholic - could I then claim the religious exemption? Also as far as I know, private schools are not exempt from State law - and this letter calls on State Law requirements!
Our decision is based on our research about immunizations, with prayerfully and carefully discussed and weighed information. This was before we had ever heard about aborted fetus tissue being used in creating vaccines. (However - the Church has made a statement that parents may still decide for or against immunization, and if they decide for immunization - they are not cooperating with evil and acting immorally by accepting vaccinations made from aborted fetal tissue.) So how can we not claim exemption here - as part of our religious beliefs - when the Church has no teaching about this issue?
I just don’t get it! This is causing me much anxiety! I am not a homeschooler, nor do I want to be. And we do not want our children in the public school system.
Thanks for letting me vent - AND for sharing your thoughts and opinions. We are preparing our “brief written statement” of objection - but I want to write it as inteliigently as possible, and I plan to include reference information. If you have any thoughts of potential reasons why the diocese would make such a policy - I would appreciate your sharing, so I can prepare our objection accordingly.