I am not going to lie. This was going to be an angry rant. A very angry, passionate, spitfire rant—full of the full piss and vinegar of my personality.
But I gave it a few days. I now feel more sad than angry. And what I want to express is more the grieving of my heart which has more tenderness and brokenness than fisticuffs.
Let’s chat over a cup of coffee and let our tears pour out, trusting God to gather them up and turn them into an intercession.
A week ago my Bishop gave his unequivocal support of the experimental COVID vaccine, provided it didn’t actually contain fetal cells. To say my heart broke would be an understatement. The deep betrayal my heart felt by my Diocese was incalculable. “Our first response must be to give thanks to God for the scientific advancement and talent that helped to create such lifesaving vaccines,” said the bishop.
With all due respect, must that be our first response? Would not our responsibility first be to make some serious inquiries? Is this vaccine safe? Ethical? Necessary? What are the risks? It is right for my family and my kids? Who will be responsible if my children or I are injured by it?
I want to ask, “Really Bishop? Is my first responsibility to thank God for every ‘scientific’ advancement, even if it goes against my conscience and even if many others have been harmed in its development? How is that true to the Catholic ideal?”
But, the USCCB has already decided for me that this vaccine is safe, ethical, and necessary. Never mind the contortions of logic and doctrine it took to arrive to that conclusion. And never mind that they do not know my family, our vaccine injuries, our risk factors, or our health statuses.
Yet, my bishop “implores ALL PEOPLE” to get the vaccine ASAP. [emphasis mine]
And heartbroken further that he would say, “Catholics care about the common good,” said Bishop Deeley. “The Gospel calls us to care for each other. Even before COVID-19, Maine had one of the lowest rates of immunization in the country. There has been an increase in cases of whooping cough and other communicable diseases.” That care needs to extend to auto-immune compromised individuals living in Maine. “These individuals cannot receive vaccines and need the ‘herd-immunity’ from high vaccination rates,” said the bishop. “Many communities in Maine are almost below those rates. Caring for the common good of all provides an encouragement to all to receive the vaccination for both their own health and safety and that of others.” Receiving the vaccine is, therefore, consistent with the Catholic commitment to promote the common good.”
Can you hear my audible sighs? Since when did doing something for the “common good” come to mean sacrificing the weakest among us so that we can live as we want? Mother Teresa famously said, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” Is that not what we are doing when we so enthusiastically support vaccines and the industry that produces them so that we can live with a thinly veiled concept of safety from the invisible enemy of wild viruses?
But, the USCCB insists, the vaccines they are recommending do not contain fetal cells. They were merely tested for efficacy on fetal tissues. From electively. Aborted. Children. FULL STOP.
And it doesn’t begin or end with this new vaccine. The use of children in research is rampant, while we sit cozy by our fires and lecture strangers about altering their lives for the common good. The use of children in medical research is not new. It has been defended for decades as necessary for scientific advancement.
My heart is bleeding. My stomach in knots. Does not the blood of the innocent cry out for vengeance? (Genesis 4:10; Deuteronomy 19:10; Psalm 106:38)
Once in a while my heart receives comfort from such shepherds as Bishop Athanasius Schneider. He writes, “To argue that such vaccines can be morally licit if there is no alternative is in itself contradictory and cannot be acceptable for Catholics….Any link to the abortion process, even the most remote and implicit, will cast a shadow over the Church’s duty to bear unwavering witness to the truth that abortion must be utterly rejected. The ends cannot justify the means. We are living through one of the worst genocides known to man. Millions upon millions of babies across the world have been slaughtered in their mother’s womb, and day after day this hidden genocide continues through the abortion industry, biomedical research and fetal technology, and a push by governments and international bodies to promote such vaccines as one of their goals. Now is not the time for Catholics to yield; to do so would be grossly irresponsible. The acceptance of these vaccines by Catholics, on the grounds that they involve only a “remote, passive and material cooperation” with evil, would play into the hands of the Church’s enemies and weaken her as the last stronghold against the evil of abortion.” [The Ends Cannot Justify The Means/Crisis Magazine]
I shared the above link on a public forum recently, and was gently chided that Schneider is not our bishop and our obedience is due our bishop. I decided not to argue it on the public forum, a move which probably had more to do with cowardice than prudence. However, I will say here, in my little corner of the internet, that this is not true. We are to obey the Magisterium in matters of doctrine, but since when has the local bishop had any authority over your family’s medical decisions, provided they do not involve a breach of morals? For example, the bishop can certainly tell you that it is gravely immoral to procure an abortion. But he cannot tell you which multi-vitamin to take or whether you should have that mammogram this year or not. Those are prudential decision of the individual and the family.
So, let’s say for the sake of argument that the new vaccine is completely ethical (but Bishop Strickland maintains it was not morally produced.) it still is beyond the scope of the local bishop to tell me that I have to get it or even that I should get it. My medical decisions are my own. I wish the USCCB would spend more time opening up closed parishes, finding ways to get the Sacraments to the people, and bringing lost sheep home than worrying whether or not my family is vaccinated. Their job is to look after our souls and get us to heaven, not to try to eradicate all death on earth. USCCB, stay in your lane.
At what point does this argument for the “common good” get stripped of its power to manipulate and isolate and abuse people? When will we say “Enough! The emperor has no clothes.” I have heard mothers whose children have been vaccine injured being told they are selfish because they won’t vaccinate for the sake of the common good. Their child is somehow of lesser value than the herd. They are expected to light their own families on fire to keep others warm. This isn’t for the common good. This hurts all of us. And damages our witness. And doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.
All this has hurt my heart so deeply. I am here in the Church and here I will stay, for the sake of my beautiful and merciful Jesus, fully present in that tiny Host. But in her bishops and priests I am sorely disappointed. I offer my sufferings for our Church which is bleeding out because we have forgotten why we exist.
“He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:17-19