Australian religious leaders raise “ethical concerns” about potential COVID-19 vaccine

Andriana Simos | 25 August 2020

Leaders of the Anglican and Greek Orthodox communities have joined Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher in raising “ethical concerns” about the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine because it stems from an aborted human foetus.

Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia Makarios, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher and Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies, have urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to pursue other vaccine options after the PM last week signed to purchase 25 million doses of the leading UK vaccine candidate.

The vaccination, being made in conjunction with UK drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, has been made using a kidney cell from an aborted foetus.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the leaders have asked for assurance that the use of the Oxford vaccine will not be mandatory, no pressure will be put on people to go against their religious views and get the vaccine, and the government will ensure a “ethically uncontroversial alternative” is found.

“Many will feel deeply conflicted whichever way they go. You may be aware that for some people the Rubella vaccine already presents such a moral dilemma,” the letter said.

The letter adds that although “our churches are praying a vaccine is found, we hope it is not ethically tainted.”

“Please be assured that our churches are not opposed to vaccination: as we have said, we are praying that one may be found,” the letter said.

“But we also pray that it be one that is not ethically tainted.”

According to The Guardian Australia, a government spokesperson told them: “the Prime Minister respects the views of Australia’s many religious communities and understands the issues that are being raised.”

Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible -,, and Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 euros a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 euros a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.