The Catholic Church & COVID-19
Part III of a series –(III)
Fr. Jordi Rivero – October 3, 2021
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Our Decisive Times –III:
Catholic Church and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Fr, Jordi Rivero, October 3, 2021 –Updated 10-15-2021
The Holy Father supports the vaccine against COVID-19. His argument depends on two things: First, moral principles: we should act in love and seek the common good. But the pope also depends on the assessment he has received about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, which may turn out to be flawed.
The pope’s statement on the vaccine is not morally binding because, as we shall see, the Church recognizes that it is not her competence to judge the efficacy or effectiveness of medical procedures such as vaccines. Her competence is limited to teaching the moral principles to guide our discernment. So let us examine those principles, found in the most authoritative statement on the use of the COVID-19 vaccine: The note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), “On the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines,” published by papal decree on December 21, 2020.[1]
The connection with abortion and the conditions for receiving the vaccine
The CDF’s central concern in this document is the ethics of using vaccines produced or tested with cell lines of aborted children (the abortions took place some 50 years ago, and the cell lines are kept alive and reproduced in the lab). Based on the belief on the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception,[2] the CDF stated that these vaccines present “ethical problems.” There are, however, different levels of cooperation with abortion; the highest is deciding to use the illicit cell lines of aborted children (drug companies and government), while for those who receive the vaccine, the cooperation with abortion is passive and remote. It is not formal cooperation because they did not participate in the abortions nor the production of the vaccines. Therefore, the vaccines could be used in good conscience, but only if the following conditions are met:
If there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent…  All vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience.
In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic (last resort).
To use the vaccines “in good conscience” means that the ethical problems have been considered, and it has been discerned that the above conditions are met.
1 –Is there a grave danger?
2 –Is the treatment safe (what are the adverse reactions, are the risks of treatment justifiable)?
3– Is it effective?
4– Are there other means available? 
Are the four conditions met? The CDF states that the Church cannot judge:
We do not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies.
Are the biomedical researchers and drug agencies fulfilling their responsibility to tell us the truth? The drug companies that produced the vaccines have shown their disregard for human life by using cell lines of aborted babies in the first place.
In 2005, The Pontifical Academy for Life stated:
There remains a moral duty to continue to fight and to employ every lawful means in order to make life difficult for the pharmaceutical industries, which act unscrupulously and unethically. —June 9, 2005, p. 7
Are we fulfilling this moral duty? Since 2005, the ties of drug agencies with the abortion industry and the complicity of federal agencies and the media have expanded.  Big Pharma continues to buy aborted fetuses from Planned Parenthood; they created the present opioid epidemic; Pfizer has a long history of crimes, including the use of Nigerian children as guinea pigs. Pfizer is hiding information about the vaccine because no one is pressuring them. The point here is not to oppose the use of medicines —many drugs are lifesavers— but, in the current situation of rampant corruption, deceit, and disregard for human life, prudence requires that we listen to biomedical researchers who are not under the control of government and drug agencies’ money.
Interpret the present time
Discerning the use of the COVID-19 vaccines requires interpretation of the present times. The Lord says:
You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? –Lk 12:56.
Intelligence and knowledge of current events are not enough to interpret the present time; we need to be guided by the Holy Spirit to see the hand of God and the work of the enemy. Jesus lamented:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!  –Lk 13:34.
They did not recognize Him, and that blindness led to their utter destruction. Lack of attention to the signs of the times is the underlying tragedy of human history. It allows ungodly ideologies to infect entire countries, sweeping Catholics along with the rest. Many see the consequences in hindsight, but only a faithful remnant interprets the present and responds.
Do you see that we are in a worldwide social revolution that seeks to overthrow all Christian values and behavior? It includes critical race theory, gender theory, cancel culture, the "defund the police" movement, socialist control... This revolution is upending every institution by coercion, deception, censoring, and by imposing new laws to pave the way for a new world order tyranny. 
The revolution is holding science and medicine hostage to politics. Just a few examples: According to the government subsidized American Medical Association (AMA), unborn children are not persons. Its "Principles of Medical Ethics" supports abortion "in accordance with good medical practice." Two thousand three hundred sixty-three babies are aborted every day in the USA. This is how our society eliminates those with special needs and the unwanted. Other examples: The AMA considers 'gender-affirming surgeries' to be 'essential' and supports the exclusion of sex on birth certificates.  Lacking ethical concerns, huge money and power interests are at play. 
That the COVID-19 mandates have been enacted amid the revolution should raise red flags that warrant careful discernment. We are seeing the same tactics of politicized "science," coercion, deception, and censoring. We see the same disposition to blind acceptance of the official narrative, and unwillingness to listen to other sources, regardless of how qualified and compelling.
How can we proceed?
What do you do when you need medical treatment? If you are a good Catholic, you want to know the moral principles that apply. Then you go to the doctor because only doctors have the competence to diagnose; then you go to another doctor for a second opinion. It often happens that doctors disagree. It is up to you to decide which one to trust. You don’t go looking for an easy solution; you don’t expect any doctor to decide for you. Their job is to give you advice so that you can make an informed decision before God.
Let us apply the same process to the vaccine decision
First, we look at the moral principles: the CDF reminds us that we should act “not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good.” It says that vaccination may be recommended if safe and effective, but also it may be refused “for reasons of conscience.” You must do your “utmost to avoid, …becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”
Next, we go to the “doctors”:
The first “doctor” represents the collusion of Big Pharma, the Government, and Mainstream Media. This “doctor” is where most people get their information. He does not just advise you to be vaccinated; he outright coerces you. Any resistance to the vaccine is met with increasingly severe punishment and restrictions on your freedom. This “doctor” tells you that this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated, the unvaccinated are responsible for people dying. This “doctor” tells you with hubris that there is no second opinion; he is the only one who “follows the science,” and everyone else is misinformed, a conspiracy theorist, or otherwise unqualified. Since they control the media, if you search on your computer, their narrative comes up repeatedly. Few doctors are experts on vaccines, so they rely on what the authorities tell them and pass it on to their patients.
Then you visit the second “doctor,” which represents the scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals who speak about the vaccines' dangers for both the patient and society. They are experts in their field; they went to the same medical schools as the first “doctors.” Their credentials dispel the myth created by the first “doctor” about opponents of the COVID vaccine not “following the science.” Among them are renowned experts such as Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine [3], Dr. Peter McCullough [4], professor of medicine, one of the most highly cited authorities on the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Mike Yeadon, former chief science officer and VP at Pfizer for 16 years and many others. These men and women are willing to speak, knowing that they risk being censored, defamed, fined, prosecuted, and expelled from their jobs [5]. They have nothing to gain except to be true to their conscience.
They second doctor tells you about research that never is mentioned on mainstream media:
The final decision is yours before God:
If you believe the first “doctor” (the official narrative about the vaccines being “safe” and “effective”), if you think that this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” then, for the common good and in good conscience, go ahead and take the jab.
But if the signs of the times and the tactics of the first “doctor” concern you, and you are persuaded by the arguments of the second “doctor,” then, for the sake of charity and the common good, you may, in good conscience, refuse to be vaccinated.
Practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary. —CDF
As Christians, it is paramount that, no matter which “doctor” we trust, we trust in Christ above all and do not allow anything to take our eyes off Him. The storm will increase, but it will give way to the reign of the Immaculate and the Holy Spirit. Let us keep our minds open to further understanding and respect the views of others. When the enemy plants division due to an issue, continue to be an instrument of love and reconciliation, but do not try to appease by renouncing to your conscience. Suffer all united to the love of Christ.
[1] See also the Vatican document of June 9, 2005
[2] See Evangelium Vitae and Dignitas personae
[3] Since Dr. Malone exposed the danger of the vaccine he has been censored and his credentials as inventor erased from Wikipedia.
[4] Dr. McCullough is Professor of Medicine, Texas A & M College of Medicine, Board Certified Internist and Cardiologist, President of the Cardiorenal Society of America, one of the most highly cited authorities on national library of Medicine, including on COVID-19