Delivering a homily at the Catholic church in Mt Parnassus, St George late May, Bishop Clyde Harvey of St George’s-in-Grenada said the situation with the virus in India and neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago cannot reach such proportions in Grenada.
He told the congregation, “It is no longer an individual thing as to whether I want to be vaccinated or not, but what is in the best interest of all the people. As we say in Catholic ethics, what is for the common good.”
“So, we trust ourselves to the Lord, but we also have to do what we have to do to ensure our safety. As Catholics, we never say God will take care of us by itself—we always say God will take care of us and I will do whatever He asks me to do to take care of myself,” Bishop Harvey said, according to the weekly newspaper The New Today.
The local daily said that Bishop Harvey stopped short of giving support for mandatory vaccination but outlined his philosophical position on the issue.
“I have gotten vaccinated myself. I have encouraged people to get vaccinated, but I have always been very strong that nobody can force nobody to get vaccinated because that is a free choice that you have and that you must be allowed to exercise,” he said.
Bishop Harvey spoke out against those employers who use the issue of vaccination to get rid of employees from the workplace.
He said: “It’s always wrong when an employer says to somebody, ‘You know you are working for me but if you don’t get vaccinated, I will have to fire you.’
That can’t be right because the right to have a stable income is a fundamental human right and therefore the Church must speak out in support of that right and let it be clear that if you have a conscientious objection, you should make that known,” he added.
Bishop Harvey said he is aware of the fact that a few employers are shifting their workers around especially those who do not want to get vaccinated so they will be less of a danger to other people.
“This virus is such that none of us are ever out of danger—we are all guinea pigs. I have to urge you just as strongly to continue to wear your masks, continue to observe social distancing when you are moving among strangers.”
Bishop Harvey urged persons on the island to refrain from moving around the place if they have no real or justifiable reason to do so.
“Until Covid is passed, we hope it will pass sooner rather than later, we are all in danger,” he said.
The Trinidad-born bishop noted that what is happening back in his homeland is much different from the early days of the pandemic when it was only a few dozen persons who were getting sick, but it is now running into hundreds on a daily basis.
He called for Grenadians to act responsibly so that the situation does not become like that of India and Trinidad and Tobago.