The Freedom of the Children of God
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Our Dear Parishioners:
We live in a time when the usual order of our lives is subjected to essential changes. A significant number of believers are concerned by these processes. Some are in fear—first and foremost over the health and the future of our children.
The crisis caused by the coronavirus and the measures taken in connection with it, as well as the various opinions over such steps can lead to division in society. These tendencies directly affect our families and parishes.
We promote freedom of individual choice in making decisions about health care and prevention of disease, including the right of parents to independently decide on the vaccination of their children on the basis of an evaluation of the benefits and risks of the coronavirus vaccine.
One should respect the freedom of choice of every person. A person’s choice must not lead to discrimination or lead to negative consequences in social life. As before, in our churches, during divine services and spiritual ministry, we are glad to see every single person, and do not intend to distinguish between individuals based on their personal decisions on the above matters. We reject the introduction of so-called mandatory rules upon our parishes, just as anything that contradicts the spirit of the Gospel.
We call upon all of our faithful to preserve unity in their families and parishes, and not to base their relationships on differences in opinion of various measures, or on the question of vaccination. Let everyone independently make their own decision for themselves and their children with sober reasoning and with the consultation of medical experts. This accords with the principles of free and democratic society, of which our German Diocese is an inseparable part as an entity of public right.
Following the principles of openness and tolerance of various viewpoints, we can make a positive contribution to the preservation of freedom, unity and mutual respect in our society.
Of this we are convinced as we beseech the help of Christ our Savior.