LifeSiteNews.com ———–By David McLoone ————–Tues., July 06, 2021
A high ranking bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC, also known as the Moscow Patriarchate) has declared that refusing to accept an experimental vaccine against COVID-19 constitutes a “sin” for which people must spend the rest of their lives repenting.
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the titular Metropolitan of Volokolamsk and chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the ROC made the statement as part of an interview with Russia 24, a state-run televised news channel in Russia.
The metropolitan explained his position, stating that “the sin is to think about yourself but not to think about the other person,” implying a moral obligation of vaccinating against COVID-19 for the common good.
“We must now think of others first,” the bishop added, without making any distinction between accepting vaccines which are developed in connection with abortion and those which are not throughout the interview.
The bishop stressed that individual members of the faithful “are responsible — each of us — not only for ourselves and not only for our loved ones, but also for all those who come into contact with us” when it comes to limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
He went as far as to urge that “anything that contributes to the spread of the virus has to be temporarily suspended.”