Catholics please help (vaccination issue) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 07-03-2008, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need to know if your local Catholic school (or Diocese) allows religious exemptions. Ours does not. We met with the Priest and they are flawed in their understanding of the law (NC). They think that Religious exemptions are only possible if the entire church is against vaccines (like Amish, etc.). We are preparing to meet with the Bishop and I need some facts. We have received a medical exemption for our son, but I will not "go away" on behalf of the other parents who NEED the religious exempt. if you can help, please let me know. I won't contact your parish and tell them you told me (if you're concerned).
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#2 of 26 Old 07-13-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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Unfortunately, I don't know I just wanted to bump you post as I'm interested as well. Please let us know of the outcome!

Good luck!
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#3 of 26 Old 07-13-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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Well, at this point, our Catholic School has allowed them. BUT, our ds is just in preschool and the school's form SPECIFICALLY states that for preschool the "recommended vaccines are XXX", but for K the "REQUIRED vaccines are XXX".

I found found some REALLY good info - but while the Vatican does provide for vaccines being your choice (on the ones derived from aborted fetal cells), they don't really say about the others. And with a religious exemption, it's all or none.

I posted a thread about this about a year ago, in the vaccines forum and got some good feedback. I will look for it later.

Here's another good piece, seems maybe the Catholic stance has changed a bit.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=927839

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#4 of 26 Old 07-13-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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Okay, here's the thread I was looking for:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...526&highlight=

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#5 of 26 Old 07-17-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Here even the Catholic schools' exemptions are actually approved by the public school district office/Dr.

We were able to use a religious exemption when our dd was in school.

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#6 of 26 Old 07-17-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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My understanding is that our diocese has decided to refuse religious exemptions. Off to see if I can find it in writing.

-Angela
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#7 of 26 Old 07-17-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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I believe it depends on how the statute is worded. Go back to the wording and try to find the annotations if you can. If the statute says "all" or "any" school, then that included private schools, including Catholic school, unless the statute is worded differently.
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#8 of 26 Old 07-18-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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We have religious exemptions at Catholic school. In our area they are required to treat the exemption the same way a public school would. I also went and spoke to the school nurse about it before enrolling my kids and she is fine with it. I just get a phone call if chicken pox or anything else similar shows up in school.

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#9 of 26 Old 07-18-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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The diocese (Wichita, KS) from which I grew up in, and i just moved from last year, does not allow religious exemptions. They did until a few years ago, but it seems the superintendent has some sort of chip on his shoulder about it. So the Bishop listened to him instead of all the concerned non-vaxxing parents

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#10 of 26 Old 07-20-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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What about in Canada?
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#11 of 26 Old 07-22-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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I have no idea what our Catholic Schools do, since I HS, but here's a good Catholic website that is anti-vax.

http://www.cogforlife.org/
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#12 of 26 Old 07-23-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
What about in Canada?
I am in Ontario and I believe that our is worded differently. It is religious or moral reasons. I guess I could not morally allow my child to be vaccinated because I believe it is harmful.

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#13 of 26 Old 07-28-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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No, they will not allow it for religious reasons, because there is nothing about vaccinations that are contrary to the faith and morals of the Catholic religion. BUT They will allow you to opt out as a consciencious objector and if you state that vaccination is against your personal morals and beliefs. All you have to do is write your philosophy and sign it and that is enough to keep you from having to vaccinate your children. There are a lot of Catholics in my community who do this, I would say about 80% of our parish is like this so we are pretty much left alone about it.

 

 

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#14 of 26 Old 08-03-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Does anyone know what the Santa Fe Archdiocese does?

Mama of three.
 
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#15 of 26 Old 08-13-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptowngirl View Post
I need to know if your local Catholic school (or Diocese) allows religious exemptions. Ours does not. We met with the Priest and they are flawed in their understanding of the law (NC). They think that Religious exemptions are only possible if the entire church is against vaccines (like Amish, etc.). We are preparing to meet with the Bishop and I need some facts. We have received a medical exemption for our son, but I will not "go away" on behalf of the other parents who NEED the religious exempt. if you can help, please let me know. I won't contact your parish and tell them you told me (if you're concerned).
Catholic schools are obligated to honor religious exemptions under the law, just like every other school.

If you need any help, contact Debi Vinnedge at www.cogforlife.org. She can tell you exactly what you need to do, and she specializes in forcing Catholic dioceses to honor religious exemptions. She has won cases here in the D.C. Metro area against the Washington and Baltimore Archdioceses. And, she has an attorney in North Carolina who works with her that I have spoken to who specializes in this area of law. His name is Alan Phillips and here's his website: www.vaccinerights.com.
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#16 of 26 Old 08-13-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
What about in Canada?
Well, only 3 provinces in Canada even have legislation for vaccination and school entry. And the legislation isn't even for all of the vaccines (for example, in Manitoba, it's only for the measles vaccine). And legal exemptions are VERY easy to obtain because vaccination isn't mandatory in Canada; you just sign a form saying you object to vaccination. In all other provinces you do nothing because there is no legislation.

You can look here for more info http://www.vran.org/legal/forms.htm

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#17 of 26 Old 08-13-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StacyL View Post
Catholic schools are obligated to honor religious exemptions under the law, just like every other school.

If you need any help, contact Debi Vinnedge at www.cogforlife.org. She can tell you exactly what you need to do, and she specializes in forcing Catholic dioceses to honor religious exemptions. She has won cases here in the D.C. Metro area against the Washington and Baltimore Archdioceses. And, she has an attorney in North Carolina who works with her that I have spoken to who specializes in this area of law. His name is Alan Phillips and here's his website: www.vaccinerights.com.
There are 17 dioceses left,who DO NOT allow for religious exemption

In your first sentence,I questioned this with the people you are talking about, and I was under the impression,that this simply is not the case. Private schools can and do set their own rules.

The problem does seem to be with the superintendants-those with chips on their shoulders,and lack proper info.

OP-can you give us an update?

mp
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#18 of 26 Old 08-15-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StacyL View Post
Catholic schools are obligated to honor religious exemptions under the law, just like every other school.
Not in MS or WV.

In NYS, only public schools and schools that receive state/federal funding are legally obligated to accept exemptions.

Not saying that it's right, mind you ... but that's the letter of the law as of today.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#19 of 26 Old 08-15-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spero View Post
In NYS, only public schools and schools that receive state/federal funding are legally obligated to accept exemptions.

Not true.

Here's a list of recent cases for NY. An excerpt from an interesting one:

Notable Cases

Quote:
In the Matter of JD & JD vs. PRC School (2006), United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

recently in December of 2007 the Archdiocese reversed their position and there is no longer a standing blanket rejection for Catholic school children to secure religious exemptions to attend parochial schools in the New York Archdiocese. This change in position of the Archdiocese is of enormous significance and effects hundreds of Catholic families that Ms. Finn represents throughout New York State who oppose vaccines due to Christian based religious beliefs.
I am aware that MS and WV as yet have no law pertaining to religious exemption.

Another article on an NY case from Barbara Loe Fisher (an anti-vaccine advocate):

http://www.todayschiropractic.com/is...us_exempt.html

Quote:
The religious exemption to vaccination is protected and can be defended under the law, no matter what faith is embraced. And it is very important for more individuals who belong to mainstream churches to defend their religious beliefs about vaccination within their own faith.

On Jan. 31 this year, New York federal Judge Michael Telesca ruled in favor of a mother, who is Roman Catholic and opposed to vaccination of her daughter based on her religious beliefs within her faith. Judge Telesca said that the mother had “demonstrated her religious beliefs were genuine. … This Court may not pass on the wisdom of [her] belief, nor on the manner upon which she came to hold that belief, provided that she maintains a sincere and genuine religious objection to immunization.”
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#20 of 26 Old 08-15-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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my parents are catholic school principals (archdiocese of ny) and both have stated that they would not accept religious exemptions - although it has never come up.

although - in reading the pp's legal citation, this conversation was before 12/07. interesting!
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#21 of 26 Old 08-15-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spero View Post
Not in MS or WV.

In NYS, only public schools and schools that receive state/federal funding are legally obligated to accept exemptions.

Not saying that it's right, mind you ... but that's the letter of the law as of today.
Ofcourse not, there isn't an exemption in those states for anyschool (except medical)

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#22 of 26 Old 08-16-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyL View Post

Here's a list of recent cases for NY. An excerpt from an interesting one:

Notable Cases
I must tell you that non-vaxers who know the law backwards and forwards do not think very highly of Patricia Finn. She's been known as a money-grubber who has botched exemption cases. She charges $600 up front to write a letter that seems to be often rejected by the courts.

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...8&postcount=20

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...8&postcount=25

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...0&postcount=23


Honestly, NYS non-vaxers would do better to come here to the vax board and search the archives (LongIsland's posts, specifically) for exemption advice. LI and MindfulBirth helped me enormously when I was seeking exemptions for my kids.

And I didn't have to pay them a dime.

Unfortunately, private schools who do not accept state and/or federal funding are, in fact, within their legal rights to deny exemptions. It sucks, but it's the law as it stands. The case that Stacy cited doesn't change this, it just states that the Archdiocese of NY changed their position.

Quote:
there is no longer a standing blanket rejection for Catholic school children to secure religious exemptions to attend parochial schools in the New York Archdiocese.
"no longer a standing blanket rejection" just means that the Archdiocese agrees to consider religious exemptions, not that the law has forced the Archdiocese to accept them.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#23 of 26 Old 08-16-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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The cases by Finn, Vinnedge, Phillips, etc. are settled and won because of the fact that the rejection of the religious exemption by any diocese (or private school, for that matter) is trampling on the parents' First Amendment rights, and is therefore unconstitutional. The dioceses and schools are simply backing down, rather than take it to trial and spend money on attorneys when they are going to lose.

I would not be so quick to disparage the name of an attorney who has a list of cases successfully settled in this area of law within the last 12 months, based solely on the opinion of an MDC user (LongIsland) who has not posted on MDC in well over a year.

From January 21, 2007:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIsland View Post
When I spoke with her (Finn) a few years ago, she never asked me what, if any, religious beliefs beliefs I held ...She charges $600.00 to "write" a letter which contains a bunch of scripture. she's under the impression that submitting a letter on law firm letterhead is going to have some sort of magical powers over a school district in New York
Regardless of what that user thinks, this attorney is successful in settling these cases favorably for her clients.

The fact that there are attorneys and advocates out there such as Vinnedge, Phillips, and Finn, who are so successful is information that should be spread far and wide to help those on MDC who might see it. The people who need legal representation can decide if they are the right attorney to represent them and for what fees after they have spoken to them.

Here is an excerpt about Ms. Finn from her site:

Quote:
Ms. Finn's firm represents thousands of children throughout the United States whose parents chose not to vaccinate for both medical and religious reasons. The firm also handles vaccine injury cases. Ms. Finn is an experienced attorney with broad based litigation experience in all levels of courts from the District court level to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Together with other like-minded organizations, Ms. Finn is working to change laws making the ability to obtain an exemption from vaccines more widely available. This is particularly important in states like New York where it is sometimes difficult to secure a religious exemption from vaccines.

Here is an interesting video with Alan Phillips, where he discusses religious exemption. He also states that this area is not a money-maker for attornies, and that the few that work in this field are intelligent, compassionate individuals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTffR...eature=related
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#24 of 26 Old 08-16-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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Those of us who are long-time posters in the Vaccinations forum know the incredible value of certain contributors, LI among them. It doesn't matter if they no longer post - the information they left for us is still invaluable, and has helped countless MDCers in the quest for knowledge of vaccines and exemptions.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#25 of 26 Old 09-13-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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HI ..Pertussis seems to be recurring. Do you worry about this very contagious, very alarming bacteria, and why doesn't it respond to antibiotics?
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#26 of 26 Old 04-23-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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Could you please tell me how long ago this was because we are currently trying to gain an exemption for our incoming Kindergartner into a Catholic school in the NY Archdiocese area.

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