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Unvaccinated People, Conscience, Condescension, & Coercion

Unvaccinated People, Conscience, Condescension, & Coercion August 14, 2021

A Vigorous Group Discussion Among Equally Committed Orthodox Catholics

From my Facebook page, edited a bit for flow and content. See the entire unabridged discussion there.]

Words of Michael Speyrer will be in blue; those of Charlie Fromm-Starkville in green.

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The discussion was kicked off with a meme that stated: “If you have to be persuaded, and reminded, and pressured, and lied to, and incentivized, and coerced, and bullied, and socially shamed, and guilt-tripped, and threatened, and punished and criminalized — if all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance — you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest.”

It isn’t an experimental drug. We know exactly how vaccines work.

And more and more about how they sometimes don’t work, too, and how some create all kinds of health problems.

It was deemed safe to use by the FDA. And after being administered in the hundreds of millions [it] has had a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of potential negative side effects: most of which were already known through human trials, which [is] why they are done.
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It’s not [just] a meme; it’s how people in the real world, and not a small amount of them, actually think, which is the problem.
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Except that the techniques described in the beginning of the meme are actually happening and getting worse by the day. That doesn’t prove that vaccines are inherently evil for everyone, or that they have no good effect (which I myself have never denied). But what it does show that there is an unsavory, objectionable character to the attitudes of politicians and an increasing number of vaccinated people who look down their noses at those who simply choose not to receive one, for various valid reasons. We’re being scapegoated, which is standard Democrat Party and political liberal tactics.
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We’re all supposedly racists and homophobes and sexists. Now we are (so it is repeated again and again) anti-science and callous to the value of human life; supposedly utterly unconcerned that we are endangering others. That’s preciously and bitterly, grotesquely ironic, coming from those who overwhelmingly support the notion of brutally torturing and murdering innocent, helpless babies in their mother’s wombs: all the way to nine months and even including those poor souls who manage to survive the procedure of their murder.
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And yes, there are some — too many — who refuse to receive a vaccine on conspiratorial or invalid grounds. But that is true of any large group of people. So it’s simply a truism about a minority, not an undeniable truth about the majority of the minority. Pretending that everyone who refuses is a conspiratorial nutcase does not move the substantive discussion (insofar as such things even occur anymore in our ultra-polarized society) along at all. It’s just the fallacy of the straw man.
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According to whom? Dave, those are all subjective judgments and assumptions of motive: a position I didn’t espouse, which is itself a straw man.
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The techniques and tactics are happening and increasing: according to massive reporting of any non-liberal news outlet. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the growing movement to “fanaticize” and marginalize those of us who choose not to get vaccinated. When one is in the “out” group, one is well aware of it.
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We’ll have to agree to disagree. I simply do not feel that is the case. [I] still respect you and your work, and promote it vigorously.
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It’s unfathomable to me that you can’t see that these attitudes are increasing: unless you actually rely on ultra-biased liberal mainstream media for your information on the latest news.
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On The Wrap website, on 7-20-21, we have this reporting about MSNBC host Joy Reid:
In conversation with CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert, she said, “It doesn’t make sense to me why the folks at that particular network — which I think we all know who we mean — would want to kill their own viewers. Their viewers are older. Their viewers are more susceptible to COVID and I don’t understand what the point is of killing them.” . . .
“If they’re telling you not to do it, you have to ask yourself why they don’t care about you and you’re their base. Again, the people who are saying this — what is in it for them, for their own people to die?” she asked.
Colbert questioned whether a coffin company is a top sponsor of Fox News, earning some laughs. Watch above, via CBS.
As the nation continues to face a growing problem with vaccine hesitancy, Meghan McCain is pointing to messaging toward Republicans and white evangelicals as part of America’s struggle with ending the pandemic. On this morning’s episode of The View, the conservative co-host said she was “horrified” with “the way people are talking to Republicans,” accusing them of categorizing unvaccinated Americans as “dumb morons in the middle of the country who are going to kill everyone.”
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During a conversation about the nation’s increasingly difficult task of reaching herd immunity, McCain insisted that has no problem with vaccines and received the Covid vaccine herself, but the messaging surrounding the issue is “psychotic.”
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“When we were first talking about vaccine hesitancy on this show, a lot of it centered around minority populations who were hesitant because of valid things like the Tuskegee experiment,” McCain began. “The narrative and the feeling coming out was compassion and trying to convince people in a way of empathy that we all need to be in this together, we should all get vaccinated together, and I think it was effective.”
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Now, she said, she’s noticed a shift. “The messaging toward evangelicals and Republicans is, ‘You dumb hillbillies, stay the hell away from me,’” McCain argued. “I don’t think there’s any way that’s gonna convince anyone of anything if that’s the messaging that’s coming out of the White House.”
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Citing opposite mask mandates in Florida and Brookline, Massachusetts, McCain said “a lot of this feels like it’s more about control than science.” She added, “If the vaccine is 94 percent effective … if the vaccine works, why do we have to wear masks outdoors? Why do we have to wear masks inside? And that’s also part of the messaging problem.”
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McCain’s take was a drastic shift from Sunny Hostin‘s comments earlier in the show. Hostin, who lost her in-laws to Covid, suggested a stricter system to enforce vaccinations. In order to reach herd immunity, “We need to shun those that refuse to get vaccinated,” Hostin said, suggesting a “No mask, no entry” policy for businesses or flights. “You don’t get those other liberties that come with immunity,” she said. “You don’t get to infringe on the rights of those who have chosen to protect their fellow citizens.”
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Later in the show, Hostin seemingly shut down McCain’s comments about mask guidelines, saying, “The reason people can’t take off their masks is because the variant is spreading amongst all those Republicans and white evangelicals that are refusing to get vaccinated.” She added, “That’s what the problem is in terms of messaging. It’s not on the left, it’s not on Democrats. It’s on Republican to Republican.”
That’s not where I get my media Dave. Please don’t make those kind of assumptions. I’m trying hard not to fight with you or be disrespectful to you. Please don’t [insinuate that] I get my take on this from Joy Reid. I neither agree with her or her vile comment. I simply don’t agree with yours.
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You are claiming that this attitude in the media and among liberals is not a problem or not growing. I am now giving examples that it certainly is. Don’t take everything personally. I am talking about current events, not you. We’re talking about media and Democrat talking points.
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An article at Forbes on 7-24-21 noted CNN host Don Lemon’s views:
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On Friday evening’s edition of CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight, anchor Don Lemon expressed frustration with Americans who continue to refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19, despite the frightening uptick in infections and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant. “How many people have to die,” Lemon asked, saying “if behavior is idiotic and nonsensical, I think that you need to tell people that their behavior is idiotic and nonsensical.”
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Lemon went on to say ask why so many adults are “believing people on the internet instead of science and experts? Why are they believing Donald Trump, who lies more than he tells the truth on any given day of the week?”
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, to her great credit, noted the condescending attitude among her fellow liberals, as reported in a Fox News article dated 4-9-21:
“I’m not going to go on about this forever but I just want to say a thing about the vaccine,” Maddow said. “I feel like there is this discourse in the American media, in the normal media, not in the conservative media. … I feel like there has been a lot of, sort of, patronizing, snobby discussion about people who don’t want to get the vaccine. I will just tell you, I know a lot of people in my personal life, people in my marching order, my peers, people who I love and respect and have a lot in common with who feel oogie or a little reluctant to get the vaccine.”
The late great Charles Krauthammer once wrote, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” I would like to update this axiom to 2021. Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are killers.
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Over the last 18 months, the free thinkers who dared question nonsensical masking or lockdowns were labeled everything from selfish grandma killers to ignorant Neanderthals.
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Keep in mind, these morally superior name-callers were the same liberals who cheered and celebrated when then-President Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus.
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One of former President Barack Obama’s ex-staffers, Zara Rahim, wrote in a since-deleted tweet, “It’s been against my moral identity to tweet this for the past four years but I hope he dies.” . . .
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But sure, Republicans are the venom-filled villains. . . .
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MSNBC host Joy Reid once tweeted that, “the fact that Pfizer was not part of ‘Operation Warp Speed’ and took no Trump government funding makes me feel better about their vaccine. Just speaking for myself, I wouldn’t go near anything that Trump or his politicized FDA had anything to do with.”
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Wow. There is so much disinformation and fear-mongering in that one tweet. Don’t be intimidated by condescending liberals with zero credibility. Their ever-changing opinions are too inconsistent for debate so they have resorted to branding their political opponents as murderers and killers.
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Americans have every right to voice their opinions, no matter how unpopular they may be. No one should not be made to feel guilty for questioning mandatory vaccinations, lockdowns, mask-wearing or social media censorship. Standing up against the intolerant majority does not make someone morally bankrupt or evil. Disagreeing with Jen Psaki and defending freedom does not make you a killer. It just makes you a conservative.
Vaccines may not be perfect. But for the majority of people vaccines reduce the risk of contracting COVID, or its seriousness if contracted. I’m good with that. I’m a traditional Catholic. If the vaccine is good enough Pope Francis, his predecessor Pope Benedict who liberated the Traditional Latin Mass, and my family physician, then jab me.
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The Church permits them because of the remoteness of participation in the evil of use of aborted babies in the research and implementation. That’s not the same as being wildly enthusiastic about it. There still remains everyone’s individual conscience. I cannot participate in a thing that exploits human beings in a Nazi-like way. I would die before I did that.
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But I don’t condemn others who do. That’s the thing. We all have our own free choice and our conscience. My conscience is an avidly pro-life one. The same impulse that drove me to get arrested five times for blocking death clinic doors in 1988-1990 leads me to not participate in a vaccine produced under such ethically abominable conditions.
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Pope Francis and Pope Benedict were publicly photographed receiving the vaccine. I do not for a second believe either one of these successors to St Peter (current and retired) lack a pro-life Catholic conscience. Also, . . . the Allies did not always use just or moral means to stop the Axis. However, one does not act immorally by celebrating or benefitting from Hitler’s defeat. Otherwise we would all be Amish.
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A correction to what I wrote above. It was some of the Eastern (Catholic and Orthodox) patriarchs who received the vaccine publicly. Nevertheless, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict publicized that they had received the vaccine privately.
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Of course they don’t lack a pro-life conscience. I never said they did. My position in no way entails that conclusion. I have not dissuaded anyone from getting a vaccine if they feel that they should (and I can document that from way back). I cannot do so according to MY conscience. Got that?
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Again, this has nothing to do with how I feel led by my own conscience (or how anyone else is so led). Read, e.g., St. Cardinal Newman on the nature of conscience.
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I am not attacking your conscience. I am simply pointing out that Pope Francis of Rome, Pope Emeritus Benedict, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, (Ukrainian Catholic) Patriarch Sviatoslav of Kiev, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, . . . have all received the vaccination and in many cases argued in favor of the vaccine. That is a lot of apostolic succession.
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Pope Francis received Pfizer, so one can safely assume it is morally acceptable for a Catholic to receive it since Pope Francis is the successor of St Peter.
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Yes they did, and that has absolutely no bearing on my own position, based on my own conscience. The Church has agreed that using baby parts in research is ethically abominable. I choose too not participate in that in any way whatsoever. But the Church allows people to receive the vaccine because it’s not considered participation in the evil, because of remoteness.
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It is morally acceptable. because the Church decreed it to be. Issues of conscience are of a different nature than that. What is permitted is not at the same time required or made a matter of coercion.
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I like Pope Francis. Being a traditional Catholic, I also like Pope (Emeritus) Benedict. If they are okay with vaccination (and themselves received it), then I am free as a traditional Catholic to follow their example.
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Yes, of course you are. Again, that has no bearing on what I am saying whatsoever, because you are not differentiating matters of a principled individual conscience, that apply only to that individual person.
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But you have no problem at all with the fact that the vaccine you have in your body utilized aborted babies, just as Nazi “science” utilized human beings? The Church has agreed that this is atrocious. Do you agree? Some of us are simply saying that we can’t participate in such a thing, no matter how remote the connection is.
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No. I condemn the act through which these babies were aborted. However, I recognize that they were aborted long before this vaccine was developed. I also recognize that Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Kirill, and Patriarch Sviatoslav have the same vaccine in their bodies that used the same aborted babies.
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A lot of modern science is built on Nazi science. That’s point. Catholic moral teaching recognizes that often the genie cannot be put back into the bottle, and life must continue on even if it does so predicated on some past evil. For example, our victory during World War II is predicated on the bombing of Japan. Including the second atomic bomb while the Japanese were on the verge of surrender.
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That’s not a valid comparison. The Church has unequivocally condemned such bombing of civilians, whereas it has not stated receiving that the vaccine in intrinsically evil. You continue to argue in ways that have no bearing whatever on my position of conscience, which the Church also espouses. The Church is quite clear on this in the Catechism:
1776 “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” [Footnote: Gaudium Spes 16.]
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1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:
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“Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.”
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[Footnote for citation: John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” V, in Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching II (London: Longmans Green, 1885), 248.]
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1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.” [Footnote: DH 3 § 2.]
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1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. . . .
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1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.
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Additionally, there are many manufacturers who fabricate objects on the Sabbath. Same with non-essential retailers who remain open on Sunday. If we boycotted every non-essential business that violated the Sabbath, then we could no longer shop at Costco, Walmart, most grocery retailers, and Target.
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In fact, without benefitting from Nazi science after the war, the Russians would have won the nuclear race and we would all be communists today.
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I don’t see taking the vaccine any differently than I do using electricity (which is required to communicate on the Internet). The science of electricity was mostly developed by naturists who denied the existence of a supernatural God. Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla being the two most prominent examples. Often, their scientific discovery and advancement came about as a consequence of their experimentation based upon their presumption of naturalism. Does this make them wrong theologically and metaphysically? Yes. Does this pain my conscience to benefit from their scientific naturalism that denies a supernatural creator? No.
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Catholic News Agency: “Bioethicist: There must be conscience exemptions to vaccine mandates” (Matt Hadro, 8-4-21) [complete article below]
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As workplaces have begun to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, some Catholic institutions insist that conscience exemptions are necessary.
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In addition, priests should be allowed to support Catholics who conscientiously refuse COVID-19 vaccines, says one bioethicist.
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“It is Catholic doctrine that people’s well-founded conscientious objections are part of their religion,” said Dr. Joseph Meaney, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, in an interview with CNA on Monday. Meaney spoke in support of religious and conscience exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates
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“Part of our Catholic doctrine is that you should have to follow your conscience,” he said. “And if your conscience is telling you not to do this, then you’re not doing it not just from your conscience perspective, but also from your religious Catholic belief.”
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Some employers have already begun mandating that employees receive COVID-19 vaccines. New York City this week announced it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for workers and patrons of some businesses, such as gyms, restaurants, and theaters.
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The New York archdiocese, meanwhile, has warned priests against granting religious vaccine exemptions for Catholics.
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“There is no basis for a priest to issue a religious exemption to the vaccine,” stated a July 30 memo from the archdiocese’s chancellor, John P. Cahill, to all pastors, administrators, and parochial vicars in the archdiocese. The memo was issued several days before the city announced its vaccine mandate.
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While recognizing the “discretion” of individuals to either receive or decline a COVID-19 vaccine, the archdiocese’s memo said that priests “should not be active participants to such actions” by granting religious exemptions.
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However, priests could “definitely” have a basis to support Catholics’ religious exemptions to vaccine mandates, Meaney told CNA. The National Catholic Bioethics Center has provided a form letter on its website for Catholics seeking to opt out of vaccine mandates for reasons of conscience.
“People objecting to this [ethically-tainted vaccines] are doing so from a very sound Catholic basis, and so I think they should get the support of the Church for doing so,” Meaney said.
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All three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States have some connection to controversial cell lines derived from elective abortions decades prior. All three vaccines – produced by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson – were tested with the cell lines. Only one – produced by Johnson & Johnson – was produced directly using the cell lines.
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In the 2008 document Dignitas Personae, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spoke against the use of cell lines derived from elective abortions in vaccines; the document recognized that parents, for serious reasons, could use these vaccines for their children.
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Both the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have said that Catholics may validly receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines with connections to abortion-derived cell lines. The USCCB noted that Catholics should seek, if possible, to receive a vaccine with a lesser connection to the cell lines.
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However, these statements have not been a flat endorsement of the vaccines, Meaney said.
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“To a certain extent, people have taken the statements that have come out – which are all true, that people can discern in conscience to accept the vaccines – to be kind of an endorsement,” he said. “It’s more like a permission,” he said, “it’s a reluctant permission.”
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The July 30 memo of the New York archdiocese cited Pope Francis’ call for everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine, warning that priests granting exemptions to vaccine mandates would be “acting in contradiction to the directives of the Pope.”
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In a January television interview, the pope said, “I believe that ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine.”
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“Pope Francis has made it very clear that it is morally acceptable to take any of the vaccines and said we have the moral responsibility to get vaccinated. Cardinal Dolan has said the same,” the memo stated.
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However, the Vatican has been clear that Catholics can conscientiously object to receiving the vaccines, Meaney said.
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The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in a December 2020 note, stated that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation,” and “therefore, it must be voluntary.” Such theological notes are reviewed by the pope, Meaney added.
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“The Church is saying, for certain individuals, they can in good conscience take it [the vaccine],” he said. For others who discern that they do not want to receive COVID-19 vaccines because of their connection to abortion-derived cell lines, the Church says they can decline to do so, he added.
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“In both circumstances,” he said, the Church defends “their right to do so.”
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A conscience exemption should not function like a “’get out of jail free’ card,” Meaney cautioned, noting the responsibility of Catholics to form their consciences and make well-founded judgments. Those not receiving vaccines should do “everything in their power to make sure that they’re keeping others safe,” he added.
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And part of the Church’s teaching on conscience, he said, is that an individual cannot be coerced into making decisions. When vaccine mandates are issued at workplaces without clear exemptions, this presents a real problem for Catholics trying to make a prudent decision, he said.
“The best ethical decision-making is made with all the facts that are available to a person, but also without undue pressure being put upon them,” he said.
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“The thing that’s always very, very problematic is when people’s consciences are being coerced,” he said, noting the “terrible” situation of an individual forced to either receive a vaccine or lose his or her job.
I don’t have a problem with the vaccine. No new baby was aborted to create the vaccine, and one is not obligated to accept abortion as moral in order to receive the vaccine. My problem is with abortion. However, the abortion took place long before Covid-19 debuted in high society and became a worldwide pandemic.
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To go back to your Nazi comparison, I don’t like Nazis. Whether we are talking historical Nazis, or Neo-Nazis who waved the Nazi flag and bore signs denying or glorifying the Holocaust during Charlottesville or the Jan 6 insurrection, I neither like nor support such individuals and their evil ideology. However, after the Second War World the west benefited from the knowledge gained through Nazi science to win the Cold War.
Do we renounce western democracy and all embrace communism?
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You’re going off in different directions. Do you and Michael recognize my right to act according to my conscience in this matter or not? The Church does. So it’s of little concern to me that you two also do. But I think you should, so as to follow what Holy Mother Church teaches about conscience (influenced a great deal by Cardinal Newman’s classic treatment, which is cited in the Catechism).
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And I have other reasons to not receive it, too, that I haven’t even gotten into, but this is the one that Catholics cannot object to, if they understand Church teaching. As the article cited says, in so acting, I am expressing my Catholic faith. It’s part and parcel of that faith. So are your actions, which the Church has permitted. Both are quite “Catholic.” I’m the one who is being broad-minded and tolerant.
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Your conscience is your conscience. I cannot speak for your conscience. I can simply speak for my conscience, which I have done my best to form according the Church as exemplified by the successor of St Peter, the retired successor of St Peter, the successor of St Andrew who is the elder brother of St Peter and the first called of Christ’s Apostles, and two successors of St Andrew through Kiev-Moscow.
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Okay good. Now let’s see if Michael agrees. I say you are following your conscience. You return the “favor.” Excellent.
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I honestly don’t know: because my answer to that question seems tied to whether or not that would be a proper extension of what it means to have a formed conscience, and whether it qualifies or not as a definitive answer I’m not qualified to give. I lean to towards no, but that’s my opinion, not a judgment on you per se. I have no authority to hang that around your neck, but you did ask my opinion. That’s not to say someone else isn’t qualified to give a definitive answer to that question, just not me.
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I am okay with it. If Dave were saying that Catholic teaching prohibits one from being vaccinated, or that it is sinful to receiving vaccination, then he would clearly be in the wrong as refuted by the example of two successors of St Peter (including the current one) and three successors of St Andrew.
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However, our friend Dave is claiming only that this is his conscience, and that other Catholics (you, me, Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, Patriarch Sviatoslav, . . .) can receive the vaccination with a clear Catholic conscience.
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I think the real difference is what limitations can we as Catholic employers and social organizers require of the non-vaccinated in the interest of public health and safety.
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I would strongly object morally to rounding up anti-vaxxers and incarcerating them, or executing them, or depriving them of basic rights like food and safety of the person. I certainly would not agree with torturing them or forcing them to undergo vaccination against their will.
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However, I have no moral qualm with limiting types of employment where said employment requires one to interface in person with other employees or the general public. I also have no qualm with limiting live and in person social activities and interaction. Nor do I object to legal prosecution against those who lie about their vaccination status or medical exemption from mask mandates in order to avoid the consequences of their anti-vax actions.
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Good. Thanks for articulating your (tolerant) views.
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I go back and forth over that one and don’t have a final answer. On the one hand, I don’t agree in general, but on the other the weight of public health and reasonability of the state to safeguard those secondarily affected by others choices, is another matter. Public policy-wise I don’t think both of those ideal are going to able to mutually coexist.
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For me, I view anti-vaxxing in a somewhat similar way to how I view current efforts to legalize pot. Especially since fewer people have died from pot than from Covid. If there is a legit medical need, then by all means pot should be prescribed. But I think claimed medical need is often exaggerated for other reasons particular to the individual.
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Likewise, society has the right to impose limitations for public safety. No driving, no working around heavy or dangerous machinery, no dealing to minors, and society has the right to limit its use in public spaces for the common public health. Like pot users, I don’t think anti-vaxxers should be rounded up and put in jail for long periods of time if they are not harming others.
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Know any one who [has] died of polio or small pox lately? . . . How about children born blind or deaf from rubella, mumps, German measles, or children dying from whooping cough?
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That’s assuming all vaccines are exactly the same, which they self-evidently are not.
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I don’t say they’re were. Nor did I make that assumption.
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Why bring up these other examples, then? You were obviously seeking to draw an analogy to the present COVID vaccine issue. You’re not even being logically coherent.
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What Charlie is getting at I think, and I would agree, is that here are people have all demonstrated this isn’t an issue of Catholic pro-life teaching, and that’s your primary reason stated for not getting it, which doesn’t seem consistent.
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Yes they did, and that has absolutely no bearing on my own position, based on my own conscience. The Church has agreed that using baby parts in research is ethically abominable. I choose to not participate in that in any way whatsoever. But the Church allows people to receive the vaccine because it’s not considered participation in the evil, because of remoteness.
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You have no problem at all with the fact that the vaccine you have in your body utilized aborted babies, just as Nazi “science” utilized human beings? The Church has agreed that this is atrocious. Do you agree? Some of us are simply saying that we can’t participate in such a thing, no matter how remote the connection is.
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This is an [invalid] comparison and would seem to be a refutation of the framework of legitimate cooperation, if one were to follow your thought to its conclusion. Of course, where we disagree is that these are the same moral situation, and that your attempt to use both in comparison isn’t a valid comparison. And where we disagree is when the Holy See makes it clear that isn’t its position, formally. That tends to overrule your interpretation.
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What you don’t understand is what Jonathan Prejean (elsewhere in this discussion) understands. He favors the vaccine, but stated: “The conscience appeals that you articulate are legitimate, similar to conscientious objections to military service.” Since you “liked” that comment of his, you should understand and agree with it and cease disagreeing with me (on irrelevant grounds) for holding the position.
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Let me ask the question, then, without the dreaded Nazi comparison: “You have no problem at all with the fact that the vaccine you have in your body utilized aborted babies?” A simple yes or no will suffice.
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Yes; I’m sorry that was done, [but] that doesn’t [address] the question as to whether that’s allowed under the frame work of legitimate cooperation. Framing the question into 1 or 0 isn’t the full examination of the issue and becomes a false dichotomy when expressed that way. I feel bad that so many guns are around and even necessary. That doesn’t mean it’s immoral to use one, or that one might even be required to do so to protect the innocent.
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So in a sense (and the very sense I was probing you about), you and Charlie do have a problem with it: just not to the extent that you refuse to get the vaccine (since the Church allows you to do so; hence, popes have done it). My conscience leads me to refuse it, and the Church says I must follow my conscience, which was and is formed according to what she teaches (but is not universally applicable to all men, by the nature and essence of what conscience is).
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I think this research came about from the precipitate of an immoral action. That is disconnected from the production of the vaccine itself. I feel morally grieved by the act, not the vaccine. But that is the same situation for a whole host of products that are more or less essential to my life on a daily basis, which is the nature of the framework for legitimate cooperation. This is why to me, your position appears to be cherry picking to the extent that it ignores the framework.
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This doesn’t seem consistent with the Holy See’s position. I’m not sure if the USCCB has issued a statement on its own asking bishops not to sign letters asking for this exception or the Holy See. I was under the impression this was the Holy See.
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That seems to me to be based on a flawed understanding that when the Church says it’s morally acceptable for you to use X despite the flaws that has to be the greatest factor in what it means to form one’s conscience in that decision.
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China has forced abortions. The Democrats would love for pro-life taxpayers to pay for abortions. Now we are almost forced to receive a vaccine that utilizes abortions and baby parts? That’s not America.
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In the beginning of this, Lord Fauci et al said that 60-70% vaccination of the public would do the trick, and natural and herd immunity (and the immunity of those who got COVID) would pick up the slack. Now all of that is completely “forgotten.” It was to be expected that a surge would occur as we were finally opening up again, after repressive and hysterical government policies. It’s not Chicken Little. It’s common sense.
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Who is forcing you to receive vaccinations?
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The government, more and more so, if I worked for them. A growing number of employers, too. I’m self-employed, so I’m pretty safe from the growing coercion, at least for now.
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Related Reading
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Photo credit: jaci XIII (5-1-16). “Freedom of Conscience”. Created for Rubys Treasure Challenge 63. Texture with thanks to Rubyblossom. Texture by Pareeerica [Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license]

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Summary: Vigorous discussion among three Catholics about unvaccinated people & particularly the objection from conscience based on use of aborted babies in vaccination research & implementation.

 


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