Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Our Right to Decide: COVID Vaccine + Vigano comment

January 11th, 2021, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Matter of Prudential Judgment

Whether to accept a vaccination against COVID-19 (-20?), or not, is a personal decision. There is a word for that concept, in Church-speak. It is called “Prudential Judgment.” Some decisions are strictly yes/no moral decisions; e.g. that abortion is always and everywhere a serious (mortal) sin. Some personal decisions are appropriately left to the discerner to make, such as being well enough to attend Mass on Sunday. Matters of Prudential Judgment call for faithful discernment and serious and timely attention, not merely as social opinions, or convenience or wishful thinking. Therefore, we ‘educate’ ourselves in the pros and cons of political candidates, such as their immigration policies, tax programs or military spending proposals. So too, we need to educate ourselves regarding choice of vaccinating our bodies, or not.

To accept or reject a vaccination against COVID is a complex matter of Prudential Judgment. It is a sacred decision, a life-and-death choice for the individual that should not be usurped by the government or by the Church. Yet, there is threatened interference from both quarters. And, given the recent example of the Church’s caving in so much to government oppression of the Mass and Sacraments that it required SCOTUS’ reversal, we hope for but can hardly expect more respect for religious liberty this time around since we are not even exercising the rights we already have. It is necessary to keep asserting the rights of the Church in matters of lockdown abuse, and now also with respect to the prudential judgment matter of vaccination. So the Church should not undermine our rights by caving in to the state, or by dictates of the hierarchy with its own agenda. Moreover, the state should not undermine our rights by rattling the saber of mandatory vaccination, and announcing it will vaccinate 11 year-olds at school without notifying their parents.

The Issue of Time

The matters of discernment are complex, made more so by the rush to develop an anti-COVID vaccine, leaving out parts of the testing processes and/or the extent of those processes heretofore thought necessary for FDA approval. Much data can be amassed even during an accelerated testing program but, as yet, there is no practical way to manufacture ‘time’ to test any product. Oh, a manufacturer can store product at higher temperatures on the expectation that it might mimic deterioration due to elapsed shelf time, but it is an inadequate substitute for the reality of timed quality assurance analysis for production, storage and shipment, or even for time spent in the human body, causing yet-unknown DNA changes.

Whether the government in the past had been needlessly delaying prior drug approvals by its testing protocols, or whether the COVID vaccine has received approval too soon remains to be seen. Still on the subject of time, is the question whether or not efficacy for the patient (i.e. protection from contracting COVID) will need seasonal updates or is a matter of one time / lifetime efficacy. Or, will later versions of COVID obsolete what has already been given as vaccine? Will a new derivative vaccine be compatible with what has already been used in the same person?  It is unlikely we will soon have a full knowledge base, identifying and quantifying risks, benefits, contraindications and complete disclosure of the usual data on adverse reactions, etc.

The decision to accept a vaccine now is understandably more frightening than if it were two years or more since the first vaccine had been given, and it had some track record of safety and efficacy. Many, many questions remain. The foregoing is not meant to belabor the point of technical issues being complex as we form our own prudential judgments, maybe even too difficult to find resources without conflict of interest. But the effect of time is only one such example.

Appalled at Pope Francis’ comments

Quite frankly, I dare to write about these matters after being thoroughly appalled by Pope Francis’ demand (Jan. 9, ’21) that Catholics accept the vaccine. I believe he way oversteps his authority to make taking the vaccine a matter he can or should dictate. The Pope seems to ignore the rights of the individual’s Prudential Judgment in these matters, disrespecting the dignity of the individual soul. I do wonder if he will really be able to take the vaccine himself, given his pulmonary problems (including, I think, removal of sections of one lung) early in life.

LifeSiteNews covered Pope Francis’ demand; here is their opening paragraph:

“January 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In an interview scheduled to air Sunday night with the Italian television station Canale 5, Pope Francis has opined that “everyone” must take the COVID-19 vaccine. 

‘I believe that, ethically, everyone should take the vaccine,’ he said, according to a transcript released in advance of the airing of the interview. 

The Pope added that he would be taking the vaccine himself and that the Vatican will start administering it to its citizens “next week,” remarking that ‘it must be done.’

(Note: it is unclear whether or not the Vatican is making local vaccination mandatory for its citizens or not)

For further articles of interest, consider: Fr. Steven Reuter, SSPX, on “Just and Unjust Laws” here:

How remote is remote?

LifeSiteNews also reprinted the position of Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop Joseph Strickland and others “On the moral illicitness of the use of vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses.”  They wrote:  “In the case of vaccines made from the cell lines of aborted human fetuses, we see a clear contradiction between the Catholic doctrine to categorically, and beyond the shadow of any doubt, reject abortion in all cases as a grave moral evil that cries out to heaven for vengeance (see Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2268, n. 2270), and the practice of regarding vaccines derived from aborted fetal cell lines as morally acceptable in exceptional cases of “urgent need” — on the grounds of remote, passive, material cooperation. To argue that such vaccines can be morally licit if there is no alternative is in itself contradictory and cannot be acceptable for Catholics.” December 12, 2020, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.

To make use of vaccines “made from the cells of murdered unborn children contradicts [this] ‘maximum determination’ to defend unborn life.”

Indeed it is more than just a contradiction in teaching in the short period from Pope John Paul II to Pope Francis; it is a scandal to the laity as well. How this is all linked to the politics of the dissolution of the Pontifical Academy of Life, and its reconstitution with a notorious figure at the helm, and with non-Catholics’ input but without being required to vow to accept Catholic Teaching as had originally been required for membership, is open for discussion but beyond the scope of this post. The very idea of a certain passage of time contributing to remoteness and therefore calling use in vaccines now acceptable raises the question what else might now be acceptable due to passage of time? Is the penalty of Adam and Eve’s sin now to be expired due to so many years having elapsed? Remote? Yes. But we are still the inheritors of real original sin.

Three Problems with Pope Francis’ Demands

There are at least three very obvious problems created by Pope Francis’ virtually demanding that Catholics (and others?) take the vaccine.

1) The Catholic Laity lose whatever credibility they might have had to bring force to bear on developers and manufacturers of vaccines to use morally clean materials and processes. How can we argue for the development of vaccines which don’t bear the abortion stain, when Catholics (including prominent bishops) choose the abortive-derived products at the first opportunity, leaving fewer souls to cry out for moral accommodation? We now have to argue why we don’t want the vaccine, while the state sees Pope Francis telling us to get the vax. And so, Catholics lose their credibility and whatever voice or pressure they might have had in the public square.

2) One more needless and divisive element is introduced into the Body of Christ, as if there weren’t enough already, and as if others previously had not suffered deprivation by being unable to use the abortive-related products which Pope Francis pushes today. Furthermore, any attempt to refuse the COVID vaccine, will not be able to draw on the resources of the Vatican for explanation or defense, since it is the source of the obvious conflict.

3) It is unclear how the Pope can be urging Catholics to get the vaccine, without at the same time implying that their bishops should push and be pushed in the same direction. It is a frightful thought that parish priests might even be pressured by their bishops, under the whip of filial obedience, to get the vaccine. It is also a disgusting thought to receive Communion at the hands of someone carrying within his body and on his shoulders an albatross of implicit guilt, an RNA/DNA link to abortive materials, which cannot be undone once chosen. Moreover, the Church so far seems to be silent on the obvious relationship of the vaccine to the “Mark of the Beast,” allowing souls in her care to stumble through their forming Prudential Judgments without real guidance. One hopes that the discussion in this post will be useful to some of those who face such decisions for themselves or their families.

Of potential interest:

Bill Gates admits Covid-19 vaccine changes DNA – The Maravi Post

There have been cautions to women not to be pregnant or nursing for several months when receiving the vaccine. Now there is mention of men being told that they might want to consider saving a semen sample in a sperm bank in case they want to procreate after vaccination.

Cleansing Fire Resources

Also put “vaccine” in the search bar of Cleansing Fire’s home page to find more than a dozen prior articles related to COVID vaccination. Comment #5 is the addition of Abp. Vigano’s comments on Pope Francis as vaccine pusher.


11 Responses to “Our Right to Decide: COVID Vaccine + Vigano comment”

  1. christian says:

    While I believe an individual has the right to decide whether or not to take a COVID-19 vaccine, I don’t think they have the right to be in public, encountering other people, without wearing a mask. I must tell you how irate I was when I saw a large crowd of protesters downtown on the news, protesting mandatory vaccination for COVID-19, huddled together talking and laughing, almost all of them not wearing a mask.

    The few in the minority who were seen wearing a mask appeared to be in their twenties or thirties, and they appeared to be trying to do a better job at social-distancing (actually physically-distancing). The general public and law makers are more inclined to be receptive to their message protesting mandatory vaccination for COVID-19, when they are seen observing basic protocol while protesting.

    However, the larger majority of the crowd who appeared to be in their 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s, sent a poor message and were less likely to be taken genuinely and seriously, as they were publicly flaunting not wearing a mask in public, while they were closely, socially engaging with each other, in groups. The immediate public consensus is that these people were ignorant and uneducated, and were in denial that there was a pandemic.

    Wearing or not wearing a mask is not a political statement!
    I have not cared for any of the ongoing throngs of protests for different causes across the nation and have found the allowance of huge crowds for protests in contrast to the restriction of religion services, or the restriction of attendance at religious services.

    My reaction on seeing these unmasked, closely congregating and socializing protesters downtown was that these people would then be showing up to an emergency room crying and pleading for help if they contracted COVID-19, in an already overwhelmed hospital system. They do not merit care for COVID-19 because of their lack of compliance with basic protocol, but they will receive care, because it is the way of Medicine to not discriminate but to give care to all in need unconditionally. But meanwhile, non-compliant people such as these who contract COVID-19, are taking care away from others who need emergency care for other conditions, who have probably been compliant.

    Cloth masks should be washed and changed out regularly. Disposable masks should be changed regularly, and used ones should be disposed of in the trash. People need to own more than one mask, especially if it is disposable. Care should be taken not to touch the eyes, nose, or even mouth, while wearing a mask, and if doing so, hands should be washed/sanitized immediately.

    Masks not only help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, But Masks also help prevent the contraction of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. This means, if everyone wears a mask in public, there is less likely to be spread and contraction of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

    People can have COVID-19 without displaying symptoms, and they can spread it to others, while not showing symptoms. People can contract COVID-19 from others who don’t display symptoms.
    Wouldn’t it be more charitable and loving to others and yourself, to be considerate and conscientious in your mask-wearing, hygiene, hand sanitization, and social-distancing (physically distancing)? “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.”

  2. BigE says:

    @Christian – a BIG amen!

  3. Diane Harris says:

    Abp. Vigano’s comment on Pope Francis as vaccine champion

    “is disconcerting that, after unscrupulously demolishing no small number of Catholic truths in the name of dialogue with heretics and idolaters, the one dogma which Bergoglio is not ready to renounce is that of obligatory vaccination — mind you, a dogma which he himself unilaterally defined without any synodal process! — a dogma before which one would expect there to be at least a minimum of prudence, if not dictated by moral coherence, then at least by utilitarian scruple. Because sooner or later, when the effects of the vaccine on the population are seen, when they begin to count the deaths it has caused and how many people have been maimed for life by a drug that is still in the process of experimentation, someone will be able to ask those who were convinced supporters of the vaccine to render an account.”

  4. militia says:

    I just want to express my deep concern about Pope Benedict’s receiving the vaccine. At his age it may well be a health threat he doesn’t need. I am feeling like he just handed himself over to death or worse, but I hope I am wrong. Please let’s pray for him.

  5. Diane Harris says:

    NY Post:

  6. Diane Harris says:

    Bp. Athanasius Schneider explains why Christians may not morally use any of the abortion-tainted vaccines for COVID-19.

  7. christian says:

    I am sharing a link from My Catholic Doctor which outlines the brands/companies that have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, regarding whether they used aborted fetal cell lines in research/testing or in the making of their vaccine.

  8. Diane Harris says:

    Thanks, Christian. The more we know from our research, the more complex and convoluted seem to be the individual medical and theological interpretations. But I have noticed over time that such interpretation usually seems to lie with easing of restrictions, or gets laced with exceptions. That, of itself, is cause for concern on the reliability of the interpretations and opinions, especially when they come from or through the medical or corporate pharm communities who financially benefit from a permissive decision.

    I would also point out that the 5 “resources” mentioned at the end of the article are all from parties not entitled to declare infallibly, except perhaps in the reiteration or simple explanation by the CDF of what is already declared infallibly.

    Personally, a conservative opinion by such Bps. as Vigano and Schneider and Strickland, willing to take on an unpopular position for the good of souls, carries much more weight for me.

  9. militia says:

    Link to some interesting flu-epidemic data and national comparisons.

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