Archbishop Makgoba’s support for mandatory vaccination of clergy
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Cape Town - The Anglican archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba has declared his support for mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for clergy, and raised the possibility of enforcing vaccine mandates in other areas of society.
Speaking during the opening service of a meeting of the ruling legislative body of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s provincial synod Archbishop Makgoba said: “In a deadly pandemic, the right of your neighbour to life inevitably circumscribes your right to do as you like.
“Anti-vaccine lobbyists defend their right not to be vaccinated, which is all well and good if they are willing to stay at home in isolation. But as soon as they move into spaces occupied by others, their rights become limited by the rights of others.”
Last month Makgoba appointed a Covid-19 advisory team which launched an initiative to get Anglicans vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Key elements of the initiative included a call for “vaccination information Sundays”.
Team chairperson Canon Rosalie Manning said: “We are urging the province to be proactive in terms of getting our people vaccinated both as an act of faith and love.
“We are well aware that this request to have vaccination information Sundays will impact the liturgy set for this season, but saving lives is also a necessary element of celebrating creation.”
Other topics to be discussed during the synod, which began yesterday and continues until Friday, include sexual abuse in the church, the crisis of youth unemployment, a call for an end to gas and oil exploration in Africa.
The Church also wants to discuss making a new commitment to people with disabilities, including making all churches fully accessible to people with disabilities and a ban on the use of polystyrene at all church events.
The synod comprises clergy, lay people and bishops representing dioceses of the church in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, St Helena, South Africa and Swaziland.