As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, edicts from politicos, workplaces and social media are becoming more commonplace.
In this post, we share the perspective of a conservative faith leader who was infected by the virus and has been outspoken about the tech for treatment.
Here's his hot take that starts with a bit of background . . .
One of the current challenges posed by the pandemic is the imposition of COVID-19 vaccination mandates by large numbers of employers, institutions and some governmental authorities. While the Church has made it clear that it can be permissible to receive vaccines that have a remote connection to cell lines developed unethically from victims of abortion, she has not been as clear about the morality of mandates that require people to take these vaccines.
The Catholic Church has stated at many levels, from the Pope as well as statements from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that it can be an act of love to undergo COVID-19 vaccination in view of protecting oneself as well as others, especially the vulnerable. Evidence is mounting that these vaccines frequently lead to less severe cases of COVID-19, even if they do not always prevent infection and transmission.1
Even though I contracted and recovered from COVID-19, I chose in April to become vaccinated, in part, to encourage others to receive the vaccine. The sound moral analysis by the Church supporting the permissibility of receiving the vaccines as well as the public health crisis evidenced by the many COVID deaths, the mental, emotional and economic stress suffered by so many, and the ensuing social isolation harming especially our young people motivated me to be vaccinated.
The natural law requires all of us to discern carefully right from wrong in conscience as well as to pursue the common good. A society that fails to respect the rights of conscience lacks a key element of the common good. The foundational international human rights instrument, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asserts: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”2
I urge all to exercise charity towards others regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Solid facts are helpful. Name-calling and shaming are not. To punish people who have a sincere difference of opinion is not Christian. Unfortunately, our society is badly divided and wounded. We have a duty to be compassionate and empathetic towards others. We must never lose sight of the marvelous God-given dignity of every human person. The Church must be a source of love and respect for both those who are in moral distress about COVID-19 vaccine mandates and those frustrated by resistance to these vaccines.
However the faith leader shares his doubt . . .
"Currently, all available COVID-19 vaccines have used abortion-derived cell lines to a greater of lesser extent. We are blessed that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in December of 2020 provided authoritative guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The CDF strongly rejected any “moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses” and urged pharmaceutical companies and government health agencies to produce, approve and distribute “vaccines that do not create problems of conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated.”
"Most importantly, the CDF stated: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” It is indeed a fundamental pillar of medical ethics that there should be free and informed consent and no coercion when deciding on a medical intervention. Pandemics and epidemic diseases may create a situation where public health and safety can justify enforced quarantines and other safety measures. The unique difficulties of today, however, include approval of only a few vaccines, all of which have some ethical problems. Also, their use of new techniques, accelerated development and clinical trials, and only recent widespread use mean that many questions cannot be answered as to the long-term safety and efficacy of these vaccines."
Finally, here's what seems to be the most important passage for Catholics going forward . . .
"I agree with the Bishops of Wisconsin, Colorado, South Dakota and many other individual dioceses who urge employers to respect their employees’ consciences and make necessary accommodations, substituting other reasonable safety measures for mandated vaccination. In pastoral care, priests are called to help Catholics to form their consciences well and obey their conscientious judgments. However, priests need not feel compelled to sign exemption letters."
So it doesn't get lost, we're highlighting what seems to be the point of this passage . . .
"Catholics can and should insist on their conscience rights and religious liberties based on the authoritative teachings of the Church found in the Catechism, papal and ecumenical council documents, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and other sources. Bishops, priests and the entire Church should support the right and duty of Catholics to obey their consciences."
A synthesis of the guidance . . .
"With so many others, I pray for an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic. I also pray that in combating this epidemic, we do not create an additional victim, the rights of conscience."
Now, this is just a summary and TKC encourages the faithful to check the comments of this leading local cleric in their entirety.
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com news link . . .
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I write, first of all, to express my love and concern for all of you as the COVID-19 virus continues to create challenges and complications for all of us. I pray, in particular, for families who lost loved ones from COVID.
You decide . . .