Over at The Catholic Weekly, I am discussing our duty to the common good in light of Paul’s remarks to the Corinthians on the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols:
[T]hough he knows himself to be free to eat whatever he pleases, Paul subjects his own freedom to the law of love for his neighbor and concludes, “[I]f food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall” (1 Corinthians 8:13).
I think of this constantly as I watch Catholics arguing with each other about things like vaccine and mask requirements.
Here’s the deal: some people cannot be vaccinated for various medical reasons. Others are at heightened risk from COVID due to various factors such as suppressed immunity, age, illness, etc.
In addition, the bigger the population of unvaccinated there is, the more likely the virus is to evolve into something deadlier and more infectious.
Therefore, common decency and consideration for the vulnerable says, “If my being unvaccinated is the cause of my brother’s death, I will be vaccinated, lest I cause my brother to die.”