Monday, October 11, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination should not be mandatory

In a recent post, I argued that a Catholic can in good conscience take one of the Covid-19 vaccines, but also that such vaccination should not be mandatory.  In a follow-up post, I expanded on the first point.  Let’s now expand on the second.

Thomistic natural law theory and Catholic moral theology are not libertarian, but neither are they statist.  They acknowledge that we can have enforceable obligations to which we do not consent, but also insist that there are limits to what government can require of us, and qualifications even where it can require something of us.  In the case of vaccine mandates (whether we are talking about Covid-19 vaccines, polio vaccines, or whatever), they neither imply a blanket condemnation of such mandates nor a blanket approval of them.  There is nuance here that too many hotheads on both sides of the Catholic debate on this issue ignore.

In order to understand the ethics of vaccine mandates, it is useful to draw a comparison with the ethics of military conscription.  Both mandatory vaccination and military conscription involve a grave interference with individual liberty.  Both are nevertheless in principle allowable.  But the grave interference with liberty also entails serious qualifications.

Military conscription

What does the Church teach about military conscription?  On the one hand, there is a recognition of its legitimacy in principle, given the obligations we have as social animals who have a duty to defend our country.  Pope Pius XII taught:

If, therefore, a body representative of the people and a government – both having been chosen by free elections – in a moment of extreme danger decides, by legitimate instruments of internal and external policy, on defensive precautions, and carries out the plans which they consider necessary, it does not act immorally.  Therefore a Catholic citizen cannot invoke his own conscience in order to refuse to serve and fulfill those duties the law imposes.  (Christmas message of December 23, 1956)

Note that the principle here is that it can be legitimate in this case for the state to require something of the citizen even though it involves putting him at grave risk, and despite the fact that he might think his conscience justifies refusal. 

But does that entail that every citizen is obligated unquestioningly to take up arms in just any old war that a government claims is justified, and ought to be forced to do so?  Absolutely not.  For there are two further considerations which need to be taken account of.

First, the obligation to take up arms applies only in the case of a just war, and natural law theory and Catholic moral theology set out several criteria for a war’s being just: the war must be authorized by a legitimate authority; the cause must be just (for example, the aggression being responded to must be grave enough to be worth going to war over); the motivation must be just (for example, the publicly stated justification, even if reasonable considered by itself, must not be a cover for some hidden sinister motivation); the means of fighting must be just (for example, they must not bring about harms that are even worse than those that we hope to remedy through war); and there must be a reasonable hope of success.

Now, a private citizen does not have all the information required in order thoroughly to evaluate any particular war in light of all of these criteria.  In a reasonably just society, he therefore has to give some benefit of the doubt to the governing authorities.  All the same, he also does have a duty to make at least some investigation to determine whether a war really is just before going along with it.  And naturally, the more corrupt a given government is, the stronger are going to be the reasons for doubting the justice of a war that it undertakes.  There is, as Pius XII’s teaching makes clear, a presumption in favor of complying with the government’s requirements, but that presumption can be overridden.

That brings us to the second, related point, which is that although appeals to conscience do not by themselves suffice to excuse a citizen from military service, they nevertheless ought to be taken very seriously by the state.  As Vatican II teaches:

It seems right that laws make humane provisions for the case of those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms, provided however, that they agree to serve the human community in some other way.  (Gaudium et Spes 79)

This basic principle here is this.  Though a person’s conscience can certainly be in error, at the same time one ought not to act in a way that is positively contrary to one’s conscience.  For one would in that case be doing something that one sincerely (even if wrongly) thought to be immoral, which would itself be immoral.  Suppose I sincerely thought that it would be gravely immoral to eat meat.  In fact it isn’t immoral, and so if I do eat meat, the eating of it is not itself wrong.  But violating my (mistaken) conscience would be wrong.  So, for that reason, I shouldn’t eat meat until I come to see the error of my opinion on this matter.

Of course, people abuse this principle all the time.  Catholics who want to get abortions like to pretend that they can justify themselves by appealing to conscience – as if the trip to the Planned Parenthood clinic was analogous to Thomas More’s refusing to swear allegiance to the king as supreme authority over the Church.  This is, of course, absurd, and not only because the arguments for the legitimacy of abortion are worthless.  To swear to recognize the king as supreme authority over the Church is to do something that is intrinsically evil.  Merely to refrain from getting an abortion is not to do something intrinsically evil, because it is not to do anything at all.  It is not a kind of action, but rather, again, a refraining from action.  Hence no one who is prevented from getting an abortion is being made to act against conscience in the relevant sense.

But suppose someone is forced to take up arms in a war he sincerely believes (rightly or wrongly) to be immoral.  Then he would in that case be made to act against his conscience, and in that sense be made to do something immoral (even if the war is not in fact wrong).  It is out of sensitivity to this problem that the Church allows for conscientious objection. 

Naturally, this raises problems of its own.  What if a very large number of people decided to opt out of fighting in a war that really was just and necessary?  That’s a good question, but one we can put to one side for present purposes.  Suffice it to say that even if there is a presumption in favor of the state’s having the authority to coerce citizens to take up arms in a just war, the state should nevertheless allow for exemptions, as far as it reasonably can, for citizens who demonstrate sincere and deep-seated moral reservations about the war, especially if they agree to some reasonable alternative public service.

Application to vaccine mandates

The application of these principles to the case of vaccine mandates is pretty clear.  A society might be threatened by a serious disease, just as it might be threatened by an armed aggressor.  We can have duties to help do what is necessary to repel the threat in the former case just as in the latter, even if this entails some risk to ourselves.  Hence, just as it is in principle legitimate for the state to require military conscription (despite the fact that this entails putting people’s lives at risk in defense of the country), so too can it be legitimate in principle for the state to require vaccination (even if this too involves some risk, insofar as vaccines – many vaccines, not just Covid-19 vaccines – can have occasional bad side effects for some people).  Hence, it will not do merely to appeal to a concern for individual liberty as an objection to vaccine mandates, as if that by itself settled the issue.

However, that is by no means the end of the story.  For there are, with vaccines as with war, two further considerations.  First, with vaccines as with war, the state has no right to impose on the citizens just any old obligation that it wants to.  A vaccine mandate, like a war, can be just or unjust.  As with a war, the state must determine that there is no realistic alternative way to deal with the threat it is trying to counter.  It must have the right motivation, rather than using the health considerations as a cover for some more sinister motivation.  There must be a reasonable chance that the mandate will successfully deal with the threat to public health.  There must be good grounds for thinking that the mandate won’t cause more harm than good.  And so on.  And as with war, if a citizen has well-founded reasons for thinking that the conditions on a just vaccination mandate are not met, he thereby has grounds for resisting it.

That brings us to the other point, which is that as with war, so too with vaccination mandates (and for the same reasons), the state ought to be generous with those whose consciences lead them to have serious reservations about vaccination, even if their consciences happen to be mistaken.  The state should as far as possible allow those having these reservations to contribute to dealing with the threat to public health in some other way (just as, as Vatican II teaches, those who refuse to take up arms should “agree to serve the human community in some other way”).  This is why, in its affirmation that the Covid-19 vaccines can be taken in good conscience, the Vatican also 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.  In any case, from the ethical point of view, the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one's own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good.  In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.  Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.  In particular, they must avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, and who are the most vulnerable.

End quote.  The applicability of the principles I’ve been setting out to the specific case of Covid-19 vaccines is, I think, also obvious.  As I said in my initial post, while I think some case could be made for a mandate, I don’t think it is a compelling case.  I don’t think state or federal governments have met the burden of proof.  I also said that there are reasonable grounds for preferring not to take the vaccines, and that it is also perfectly understandable that many citizens do not trust the judgment of public authorities.  Many such authorities today are committed to manifestly lunatic beliefs on other topics – that the police should be defunded, that the distinction between men and women is merely a social construct, and so on.  Many governments have earned the public’s distrust, and a wise statesman, knowing this, would strongly urge against heavy-handed actions that are guaranteed only to increase this distrust.

For such reasons, and also because of the general principle that the state ought as far as possible to avoid forcing people to act against their consciences, there should be no Covid-19 vaccine mandates, and where they do exist there should be generous exemptions for those who object to them in conscience.

In all things charity

Some readers of my two earlier posts on this subject have reacted in a predictably unhinged way.  One blogger insists that “one’s position on the vaxx is a litmus test,” and avers that I have now revealed “on which side [my] loyalties lie” and joined “the enemy” (!)  Another declares that I have “switched sides from that of God to anti-God” (!!)  They thereby illustrate my point that too many right-wingers have been led by the very real crisis we are facing to fly off the rails and land in the same paranoid fantasyland mentality that has overtaken the Left.  Or perhaps they simply demonstrate that they don’t know how to read.  For in my initial post, I explicitly criticized the mandates, explicitly acknowledged that there are reasonable concerns about the vaccines, explicitly said that public authorities have damaged their own credibility, and explicitly affirmed that those who put themselves at risk in resisting the mandates deserve our respect. 

But one can say all that and, with perfect consistency, also hold that the Covid-19 vaccines are not connected with abortion in a way that would make it wrong to use them, and that those Catholics who decide to take the vaccine do not sin in doing so.  And that was the point I was making in those earlier posts.  Contrary to what some Catholic churchmen and writers have been saying over the last few months, opposition to abortion and fidelity to the Catholic faith do not oblige Catholics to “die on the hill” of Covid-19 vaccination.  These churchmen and writers have no business usurping the Church’s teaching authority and claiming otherwise.  But that by no means entails that there aren’t other reasons to object to vaccination mandates.

The bottom line is that whether to get a Covid-19 vaccine is, in the nature of the case, a prudential matter.  But fanatics on both sides want to turn it into something more than that.  One side says that as a Catholic, you must not get the vaccine – never mind what the Church says, what three popes have said, and what decades of orthodox Catholic moral theology has said.  The other side says that you must get the vaccine, even if this violates your conscience.  Both sides gravely offend against justice and charity.  Both sides muddy the waters and stir up passions when what the Church and the world need more than ever are clarity and sobriety.

Related posts:

Covid-19 vaccination is not the hill to die on

Covid-19 vaccines and Jeffrey Dahmer’s nail clippings

57 comments:

  1. I hope you see this comment, so I can have your thoughts on it:

    The girl's cells are being immortalized in something called "tumorous Cell immortalization", making the cells used in the experiment literally her kidney.
    They are not some kind of "synthetically clonned" cells (aka Ctrl C Ctrl V). 'Scientists' are using God's created features of the human body to make it replicate (what it normally would) forever (what it normally wouldn't, except from a mutation).

    Suppose someone is in a vegetative state in the hospital, you can't keep them alive just to harvest blood out of them (well, I hope 'scientists' don't read this) the same way you can't keep the poor girl's kidney replicating forever just to manufacture cheaper medication.

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    1. I normally don't reply to online comments, but I can see your concern there, so I'll risk it.
      What they've done to that human being is murder. But that was done, and can't be undone.
      The vaccine (or lack of) is not going to stop them from keeping those cells (and they are cells from the deceased person, not the person herself).
      The remote connection with that horrible situation you describe doesn't put a burden on you NOT to take the vaccine because is a remote connection.
      You are not murdering this or other innocent babies by taking the vaccine, you're not causing these practices (nor discouraging them by not taking the vaccine).
      Is the remoteness of those two actions (the murder of that baby and you taking the vaccine) that makes it morally acceptable to take the vaccine (given all other factors are met).

      FYI, I'm not taking the vaccine (for different reasons), so don't think I'm trying to justify myself. Just sharing some thoughts.
      God bless.

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    2. Has anyone really looked into the veracity of the assumption about "only a few abortions many years ago, and immortalized cells since then" that keeps being repeated over and over again?

      https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/05/17/exploring-the-dark-world-of-vaccines-and-fetal-tissue-research-part-1/

      No, those past abortions cannot be undone, but by massively opposing such vaccines we could constribute to stop such a dreaful industry, or at least force them to look for acceptable alternatives.

      What is so difficult to understand about that without being called "hothead"?

      Roberto

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    3. Anon,

      *IF* the cells involved in testing these vaccines are as advertised, then it follows that their use is morally licit.

      What's hotheaded is to insist that we are morally obligated to refuse such vaccines on the grounds that their use is immoral. Whether one should refuse the vaccine on the grounds that it would discourage the use of tissue from aborted children is, I think, left to prudential judgement.

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  2. Dr Feser, thank you so much for your balanced and rational view on this issue over the last few posts. This is something I've been struggling with because of the fanatics on both sides so I really appreciate your thoughtful analysis. Thank you so much, God bless.

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  3. Most people are just insane.

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    1. Nail meet head.
      The TWO extremes in this argument, in this pandemic, are the reason this is going on as long as it is.

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  4. What the hell happened to Bruce Charlton? I considered him a serious person but I haven't followed his blog for a long time. I don't want to focus on him specifically, but I have noticed during the years that a lot of people who blog on social and political issues have been losing their sanity last few years both during the pandemic and during the Trump years. Conspiracy theories, us vs them oversimplifications.

    Specifically I am referring to right wing bloggers, since I don't really follow left wing ones and I thought leftists were quite wack anyways. I don't want to name names now, just so I won't be perceived as making personal attacks, but I can't be the one who notices this. Thank God there are blogs like Ed's, or Brandon Watson's that will also deliver a good dose of sanity and clear thinking.

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  5. "It seems right that laws make humane provisions for the case of those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms, provided however, that they agree to serve the human community in some other way. (Gaudium et Spes 79)"

    Would our clergy be a example of that? I remember St. Thomas defending on the ST that the priests can't bear arms or fight in any way, but i'am pretty sure that they usually act in the battlefields on a supporting role.

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    1. That sounds weird given the militant religious order in the past, unless we mean priests specifically for some reason? In any case, I would be very surprised to hear a reason for that.

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    2. Aquinas seems to have priests and bishops in mind: https://www.newadvent.org/summa/3040.htm#article2

      He defends that they should help in battle but never by fighting the enemy.

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  6. There are three different level of issues: (1) To know if the appropriation of products related to abortion is permissible for a Catholic who truly respects innocent life: all the teaching of the Church, particularly of the last popes (except, unsurprisingly, of the current one) instruct us that no; (2) To know if it is prudent for an individual to take these vaccines (regardless of their organic relationship with the scourge of abortion) and here we remain in a perfectly debatable opinionable discourse; (3) To know if the State has the right, not in an abstract and/or universal fashion, but at this very particular time, to impose such a vaccine to the whole population it governs either by legal means or, even worse, by the use of any kind of social coercion.
    All the doctrines developed in the cultural framework of the Catholic Church, whether we go back to St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, or the great social encyclicals, including those of the Pope Emeritus, see the State (empire, prince, Hegelian state as in the 19th and 20th centuries) as a guarantor (even identified by some with the Pauline Katekhòn) of the Common Good.
    Matter-of-factly, the modern Western States have abdicated from the role of guaranteeing the participation and the enjoyment of said Common Good: instead of promoting virtues and behaviors satisfying the human nature which are the only means to achieve the Eudaimonia, the Happiness every human being is entitled to, it puts in place politics, laws, rules, and regulations which do promote vicious behaviors, against the human nature and finally against that happiness. The modern States do not look anymore to a Common Good but, in the best case, only to a Greater, hence perfectly Utilitarian, Good where the interest of the individuals, of the families and of the communities have no weight what-so-ever in the political evaluations. The “contract” between the State and the citizen is objectively broken and this show up here in Europe, where the State is obliged to coerce its own citizens because of that.

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    1. Matter-of-factly, the modern Western States have abdicated from the role of guaranteeing the participation and the enjoyment of said Common Good: instead of promoting virtues and behaviors satisfying the human nature which are the only means to achieve the Eudaimonia, the Happiness every human being is entitled to, it puts in place politics, laws, rules, and regulations which do promote vicious behaviors, against the human nature and finally against that happiness.

      The Catholic teaching about obedience to the state precedes St. Augustine. It goes back to St. Paul (see Romans 12:1-7) and to Christ ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's). St. Paul insisted on obedience to the state even when the state was the Roman empire's occupation / oppression, which was guilty of even more grave and systemic violations of the common good than our current polities. The demands of tributary taxation was just the beginning, it also flowed over into many other things like slavery, public torture and crucifixion, and killing people outright as a form of mere entertainment (gladiator combats).

      The “contract” between the State and the citizen is objectively broken

      Since Catholic political theory does not agree with the contract theory of political order, this is an odd thing to assert. Nevertheless, I agree that the state using coercive measures to demand vaccination here does reflect state overreach of its proper role.

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  7. Mitochondria have antiviral properties. Exercise mandate?

    McDonald's kills way more people than the Wu flu ever will. Diet mandate?

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  8. Level-headed reasoning in this and the previous vaccine articles. The craziness on both sides of this is nuts!

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  9. Considering the fact that the formal existing state is mandating vaccines its very difficult to be reasonable about something when one might lose their job or lose out opportunities to study/get future jobs or participate in public life. It is quite difficult to have grace and charity when one is in a difficult spot and see others in a difficult spot as well. There is no one good argument against this vaccine other than what non reactionaries would call irrational skepticism. When asked why you don't want to take this one is going to present a number of reasons but not one specific reason. The abortion link is brought up as a procedural way out of a very pesky conflict which could get much hotter in the future. A Mactlyire in after virtue discusses how the supreme court deals with conflict to keep the peace. Forced vaccination after the 15 days to flatten the curve turned to summer rioting, inflation and destruction of small businesses in favor of amazon is quite the pill to swallow.

    This is the section of after virtue. Worth a read.
    But, if my argu-
    ment is correct, one function of the Supreme Court must be to keep the
    peace between rival social groups adhering to rival and incompatible prin-
    ciples of justice by displaying a fairness which consists in even-handedness
    in its adjudications. So the Supreme Court in Bakke both forbade precise
    ethnic quotas for admission to colleges and universities, but allowed dis-
    crimination in favor of previously deprived minority groups Try to con-
    jure up a set of consistent principles behind such a decision and ingenuity
    may or may not allow you to find the court not guilty of formal incon-
    sistency. But even to make such an attempt is to miss the point. The
    Supreme Court in Bakke, as on occassion in other cases, played the role
    of a peacemaking or truce-keeping body by negotiating its way through
    an impasse of conflict, not by invoking our shared moral first principles
    For our society as a whole has none

    What this brings out is that modem politics cannot be a matter of gen-
    uine moral consensus. And it is not Modern politics is civil war carried
    on by other means, and Bakke was an engagement whose antecedents were
    at Gettysburg and Shiloh. The truth on this matter was set out by Adam
    Ferguson: ‘We are not to expea that the laws of any country are to be
    framed as so many lessons of morality ... Laws, whether civil or polit-
    ical, are expedients of policy to adjust the pretensions of parties, and to



    254


    After Virtue


    secure the peace of society. The expedient is accommodated to special cir-
    cumstances . . (Principles of Moral and Political Science ii. 144) The nature
    of any society therefore is not to be deciphered from its laws alone, but
    from those understood as an index of its conflicts. What our laws show
    is the extent and degree to which conflict has to be suppressed.

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  10. "One side says that as a Catholic, you must not get the vaccine – never mind what the Church says, what three popes have said, and what decades of orthodox Catholic moral theology has said."

    I am, frankly somewhat puzzled by the CDFs statement on this for this reason. As you note, the Magisterium is very clear that it NOT morally problematic. So, to say that you can't receive in good conscience, because you believe it IS morally problematic, seems to contradict the moral authority of the Church, right? Isn't it to proclaim that the Church is teaching falsely on matters of faith and morals? So, yes, you still can't violate your conscience, no matter what, but I am curious why the CDF mentions that people can disagree on this matter, as disagreeing would seem to put one at odds with the Magisterium.

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    1. There is no contradiction. Part of what is going on here is that the Church is simply allowing for the fact that some people will, despite the soundness of the justification for the vaccines, have qualms, because they don't understand the justification. That's not surprising, since non-experts often don't understand concepts like material vs. formal cooperation, direct vs. remote cooperation, cooperation with wrongdoing vs. appropriating the results of a bad act, double effect, proportionate reasons, etc. They just hear "abortion" and think that anything remotely connected in any way whatsoever to it must be bad. When you bring in these distinctions, their eyes glaze over. So, out of sensitivity to the consciences of such people, the Church says that they shouldn't be forced to take the vaccine if they don't feel comfortable doing so.

      Another reason is that, even if the connection with abortion is so remote that it doesn't make taking the vaccines immoral, someone might nevertheless choose not to take them as a personal way of making a statement about how vaccine research is done. It would be analogous to refusing to shop at any store run by people who happen to support Planned Parenthood. It's not obligatory for any Catholic, but an optional mode of protest.

      Which is fine, but when people do that in the case of the Covid-19 vaccines, they give the false impression that those vaccines have some special connection with abortion that other vaccines and products (various medicines, foods, etc.) do not. And that actually undermines the message, because it gives the impression of hypocrisy or special pleading rather than intellectually honest protest. People can say "If you're so upset about the Covid-19 vaccines, why haven't you been going on about how rubella vaccines, Tylenol, Maalox, Benadryl, etc. are made? What's so special about the Covid vaccines, specifically? You're not really worried about abortion, but just whipped up about Covid."

      And the answer, I think, is that in fact there isn't anything special about them. People are indeed (albeit quite understandably) whipped up about the Covid issue in general, and keen to grasp at anything as a weapon to swing against overreaching governments. And it is therefore tempting to claim that there is some special and uniquely awful connection between Covid-19 vaccines, specifically, and abortion, so as to make of this a pro-life issue. The trouble is that it just isn't true.

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    2. Yes, a person whose conscience (understood as an intellectually grounded assent) is in contradiction with the teachings of the Magisterium, then it is in error, but it is evil for such a person to act against their conscience. Thus, we ought not to compel people to act against conscience.

      I think this is analogous to the difference between being honest and speaking the factual truth. To be honest is not to speak the truth about the world, as it were, but to speak truthfully about one's beliefs about the world. These beliefs could be wrong, but to compel someone to speak otherwise would be to coerce them into dishonesty, which is obviously wrong because this would be speaking against one's mind, i.e., lying, even if the proposition uttered is factually true.

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    3. I think that Prof. Feser is essentially right in why the Church is nuanced in saying the COVID vaccine is moral to use: their conclusion rests on a significant number of particular determinations that may not be identical for all persons. Here is an example of that: the degree of danger to the good of others (by not being vaccinated) is one of the elements that went into the the determination. But different people will be in a different position as to whether they add risk to others if they don't get vaccinated. For example, a scientist just about to head off to Antarctica for an 8-month stint of research might say: "there is no way I will be able to infect anyone..." Similarly, although in December (when the Vatican made its announcement) the indicators seemed to say that even those who had COVID would have a lower risk of passing on the virus if they got vaccinated, now the evidence seems to say...not so much. So, for people who have had COVID (and especially for people who had both main variants - I know one person in that boat), the risk of their passing the virus to others (without getting vaccinated) is lower than "in general" and lower than initially expected. These are reasons that specific individuals could, arguably, decide that even if there is proportionate reason for MOST people to accept the remote material cooperation with evil of getting the vaccine, there isn't proportionate reason for them specifically. Hence they could quite plausibly argue that even in light of the Church's declaration, and taking it in its proper meaning and context, they have a duty in conscience to refuse the vaccine, lacking proportionate reason.

      The Church's determination is capable of being read as bearing degrees, because some people have MORE and others LESS reason to be vaccinated, and therefore some few might have so much less that their reason is not proportionate to the (admittedly modest) evils of being connected to the abortion (even by a remote material cooperation). At a minimum, such a conclusion cannot be excluded definitively.

      (The expected benefits to be gained from the vaccine also play into the equation: if the actual benefits are less than the claimed benefits, then that too might mean that there is not proportionate reason.)

      So, in addition to the (many) people who simply don't understand the Church's analysis and determination, there are others who correctly understand and who might still have conscientious objection to getting the vaccine.

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    4. "So, out of sensitivity to the consciences of such people, the Church says that they shouldn't be forced to take the vaccine if they don't feel comfortable doing so."

      I am more comfortable with the idea of someone refusing to get a vaccine because they think it is imprudent. I think it is a wholly different thing to say that it is immoral.

      Many Catholics are saying that the vaccine is per se immoral. If this is true, then they are saying that the Church is teaching something that is gravely immoral, and in fact leading hundreds of millions of people to do something that is objectively gravely immoral. To hold that the Church could officially teach and lead people to grave sin seems like an EXTREMELY problematic viewpoint to take, no?

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    5. Dr. Feser,
      I think it is wrong for you to say that there is NO pro-life justification to refuse the vaccine and that it is simply the nearest weapon at hand for those who don’t want to take it. While the Church has repeated the moral permissiveness of using such vaccines (not a total absence of moral problems), she has also said that it requires grave and proportional reasons to use them. And the Pontifical Academy of Life (referenced by the CDF) even calls on fathers and societal leaders to resist the use of these vaccines when they can. When one considers that the aborted children were indeed kept alive when operated upon to harvest their live tissue coupled with the fact that fetal tissue continues to be relied upon for medical experimentation and medical advances to this very day, it can certainly be argued that the proportional reasons are at a high standard. It can further be argued that the risk of Covid for the great many of us simply do not meet the standard. For many it seems the Church has stated mandatory opposition to the creation of these unethical vaccines while publicly mounting no opposition and pro-life folks see an opportunity with the high-profile covid vaccine to take a stand and bring this problem to the fore.

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  11. Dr. Feser, it wasn't these two points that caught my interest. It was the "This isn't the hill to die on," that took me aback since it came from you whose opinion I greatly respect. I've been following the concerns of several doctors and scientists, I don't know their religious affiliations, who are concerned about the effects on populations of the mRNA vaccines. In particularly how they produce variants which require more shots and effect younger demographics. Some ask why mandates of EUA vaccines are required when simple and early treatment is so effective and yet so heavy handedly discredited.

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    1. The reason for the "hill to die on" reference was that some people think that a Catholic absolutely MUST refuse the vaccine at all costs, on pain of mortal sin, selling out of the Catholic faith, etc. -- as if a city government or employer telling you to get the vaccine was analogous to being told to sacrifice to the emperor.

      My point is that that is simply not true, whatever else one thinks about the vaccine -- that there is nothing in opposition to abortion or being a good Catholic that entails that one simply must "die on this hill" like a martyr to the faith. That is totally over the top and ridiculous. Whether to take the vaccine is a prudential judgment, not some test that will determine your very salvation.

      Some people seem to think that I was saying that we should just go along with any mandate, that there are no reasonable grounds for resisting it, etc. -- even though I explicitly said the opposite in the post. The reaction just confirms how many people are approaching this issue too emotionally rather than rationally.

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    2. Feser: "Some people seem to think that I was saying that we should just go along with any mandate, that there are no reasonable grounds for resisting it, etc. -- even though I explicitly said the opposite in the post. The reaction just confirms how many people are approaching this issue too emotionally rather than rationally."

      Welcome to the world of reality. I would be very surprised if all, or most of the commenters on this site, have not been vaccinated throughout their lives against the myriad of diseases starting with the MMR vaccine in early childhood. To baulk now with COVID can only be for the most stupid and spurious reasons. I have not read one cogent argument for why one is better off by not having the vaccine. One must ask, why are people so willing to inject unproven foreign substances into their body, be it bleach, monoclinal antibodies, Ivermectin, multi-vitamin infusion, hydroxychloroquine, without a shred of scientific evidence. (Monoclonal antibodies is included because it has been proven to be only 50% effective against Covid, nowhere near as effective as the vaccine nor is it an efficacious substitute.) They were prepared to pump this stuff into their bodies as quick as you can blink, but said no to the COVID vaccine. What it stands to show is that there are many irrational crazies out there [and on this site] who must be protected from their own stupidity and ignorance. Deflecting to personal freedom and dislike of mandates as an excuse is the most asinine of defences. Hiding behind religion as an excuse for moral outrage against the vaccine and mandates is equally crazy. Such reaction illustrates how easy it is to fall from the grace of rationality to acquiescing to the basest of our primal responses, inherent selfishness. And clearly a religious upbringing, even a Catholic one, does nothing to mitigate that primitive compulsion.

      Sociality is a learned behaviour. It is humanity's best chance of survival as a species going forward. To live in a society is to understand that at times there will be a greater social good that must supervene selfishness masquerading as personal freedom. This pandemic is one such time. And I agree with Dr Feser, this is not the 'hill to die on'.

      It is good to read Dr Feser facing all those crazies on the site and explaining as calmly, patiently and persistently as he can, that there is a greater social good to be had here, a good that far outweighs selfishness.

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    3. Papatroll,

      From your avatar, it appears you’ve been eating processed food and have given in to the “basest of your primal” food desires. If you’re willing to “pump that stuff in your body”, then you need to be protected from your “own stupidity and ignorance” by a social mandate regulating your diet. Sociality is a learned behavior, Papa. You need to recognize the “greater social good that must supervene selfishness masquerading as personal freedom” and confine yourself to an appropriate diet.

      Therefore, please post your diet choices for approval. Don’t be one of the “crazies”. “Recognize the greater social good to be had here, a good that far outweighs selfishness” of your poor food choices.

      And, please, do not consider yourself authorized to seek medical care at a hospital when you have voluntarily chosen to damage yourself; healthcare resources are for those who have made correct choices, unlike you.

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    4. Paps,

      "I have not read one cogent argument for why one is better off by not having the vaccine."

      Here are a couple:

      Those most likely to have a severe reaction to the vaccine are not those who are likely to have severe symptoms to covid-19. In fact, the older you are, the less likely you are to have even a mild reaction to the vaccine.

      There is no correlation, but in fact evidence of an possible inverse correlation. You could get covid-19 and have no symptoms except just a loss of smell for a couple of days, but you get the vaccine and end up in hospital.

      A second argument is that the vaccine is just a means to an end. What we really want is for everyone to have the anti-bodies, that's the real goal. We know that if you have had covid-19 already, the natural immunity that provides is vastly better and longer lasting than any of the vaccines. 20mil Americans already had covid-19 before the vaccine rollout even started, many more millions got it as the rollout continued. Why should they get the vaccine? Couple that with this push to mandate vaccines, it could be argued that a more courageous position would be to not get the vaccine and strengthen the protest against the mandate.

      Those are two reasons.

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    5. I have not read one cogent argument for why one is better off by not having the vaccine.

      The question is: is there any cogent argument for why the whole population shouldn't get vaccinated. I wondered that too, and started researching older vaccines and how we handled them. Turns out that there is WAY more nuance than I had suspected. For example, a 2003 study on the smallpox vaccine indicated that while that vaccine was "very safe", it wasn't so safe that EVERYONE should get it, doing that was actually strongly contra-indicated by the literature and adverse reactions data.

      What I found also was that there was WAY more longitudinal information on adverse reactions for most other vaccines - i.e. finding what health was like much later in time after vaccination - than what we had for the COVID vaccines. While we are gradually gathering a scientific understanding of what EARLY data will look like when long-term information is gathered and correlated, the science on this is still only barely in its infancy, and is so far from a stable, reliable body of knowledge that nobody thinks we can use it to say with scientific basis that "we know" what the long-term picture of COVID vaccines will look like. We have conjectures, based on SOME (far from definitive) science of past work on vaccines. But undermining the hope of applying that past work to these vaccines is that the old ones were not mRNA vaccines - new methods imply new possibilities for better or worse results.

      (I am not against vaccines, and I am not against using the current COVID vaccines.)

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  12. The fact that Pius XII farted something out does not make it "Church teaching," let alone true. Catholics need to do better at defending papal teaching on their own merits and demanding of popes that they explain where the hell they're pulling their pretended teaching from out from. In fact, it does not at all logically follow from any natural law principles or from anything Catholics believe is divinely revealed that states have a right to force a citizen, without his consent, to fight in a just war.

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    1. The reason for the Pius XII quote was simply that it provides an illustration of what the Church and Catholic moralists have said about the issue. It wasn't meant by itself decisively to prove the truth of the view about conscription that I was referring to -- which wasn't even the subject of the post, but just something I was using as an analogy. Anyway, the "But you didn't prove everything in this one post!" move is never a very interesting response.

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    2. Who said anything about force? All that was said was that there exist duties that do not depend on our consent. Whether we can be compelled to fulfill those duties will (possibly always) depend on whether there it is a matter of conscience. Obviously, one can lie about that, but the principle remains. Don't confuse the epistemic with the metaphysical.

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    3. t does not at all logically follow from any natural law principles or from anything Catholics believe is divinely revealed that states have a right to force a citizen, without his consent, to fight in a just war.

      As Pugio suggested, saying "force" is a mistake here. If you are convinced that morally you must not fight, then the state cannot FORCE you to fight. It might put a gun to your head and tell you "fight or we will kill you" but that doesn't force you, because you can still refuse, and die. Just as the martyrs did.

      No, what we are taking about is to require, to oblige. To make it a matter of obedience to law that you should fight.

      It's kind of funny: let's consider the old, old days (back in the days when individual towns were protected by a wall, and had nobody to call on for defense but themselves), and there was no such thing as a standing army, or even an organized militia, there was just people who sometimes were farmers and sometimes had to defend their lives. The ruler of the city didn't typically think about whether he could or could not order people to get on the walls and fight. He ordered, they obeyed. Often, unless the invaders were stopped AT THE WALL, everyone was going to die. There is little point in worrying about your risk of dying on the walls when your risk of dying after the walls are breached increases toward infinity.

      The only way we even get to a QUESTION of whether some people must "serve" in battle conditions is when there has been a differentiation in roles so that some people are designated soldiers or militia or guardsmen or something. But even then, if the danger was clearly beyond the capacity of the designated defenders, everyone else would have to chip in or be overwhelmed and slaughtered. Arguing about "whether I have to serve" when an enemy soldier is bearing down on you with a spear is kind of stupid, a good way to win a Darwin award.

      So, the notion that maybe some citizens have a "right" to refuse orders to fight could only ever arise once the differentiation between those bearing risk and those not bearing risk is significant. Like when a state has a standing, professional army and has no ordinary need of citizen-militia simply consisting in the able-bodied.

      In times of war, a city ruler might have need of doing all sorts of things that might pose much higher RISK to certain individuals than others: rationing water and food and medicine, for example. Or requiring work done that is inherently risky work, or is risky because it must be done in a hurry, without lots of protective apparatus.

      In all, nobody has yet raised a reason why legitimate authority cannot require citizens to put themselves at risk for the common good.

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  13. Now do coerced masking of children as young as four (4) which is the current policy in many Catholic schools across the country. When will you address this?

    If forcing a child to cover 2/3 of her face for up to 8 hours a day, for multiple years, can reasonably be defined as "experimentation" then most of our Catholic schools are outside the bounds of 2295.

    What else could it be but "experimentation"?. We do not know long term psychological or developmental effects because we have never done such a thing.

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    1. Perhaps the out is that it is not technically forced. One could homeschool to avoid. Although it is a condition of in-person instruction in most dioceses.

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    2. That's like saying that the mandate doesn't *technically*, de jure, force anyone to get vaccinated. But it does severely restrict what you can do for no good reason and in such a way that it does de facto become a form of coercion. It is not realistic to expect parents in general to homeschool given prevailing realities.

      So either you must argue that this coercion is justified or that it is not, but you cannot argue that it is not coercive.

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  14. At Fox News, all employees either get Covid vaccinated or submit to daily testing. Sounds reasonable to me.

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  15. Dr. Feser, could you expand on your definition from the original article on what constitutes a proportional reason to cooperate with evil (the fetal cell testing) in this way? Does everyone have a good enough reason to get the vaccine or would you say people who are at low risk and not caring for high risk people don’t have a good reason to cooperate with the evil involved in testing the vaccine? What about kids? Just wanted to see your opinion since no one seems to have commented on what constitutes a proportional reason in this context.

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    1. I will provide just a small part of an answer. I believe that the relation to be considered is: the good effects to be anticipated from this act compared to the bad effects to be anticipated from this act. One of the bad effects to be anticipated from this act is (precisely because it is material cooperation with some other (primary) evil act), an apparent support or at least acceptance of that other evil act. One of the mitigating aspects of that apparent support or acceptance is that your own act is remote from the primary, evil act, and thus your act is a VERY MINOR apparent support for it. Another mitigating factor (can be) if you explicitly tell the nurse, doctor, pharmacist "I want a vaccine that didn't use cell lines from an aborted baby, please," and when they tell you there is none, register your explicit complaint: "
      well, there SHOULD be one, I would be willing to pay good money for that." Thus, the apparent support for the other (primary) evil act is concretely short-circuited by your more direct and more emphatic rejection of it. Hence, in ordinary vaccine cases, it is not extraordinarily difficult to satisfy a requirement that the goods to be anticipated (from taking the vaccine) exceed the bad effects to be anticipated from taking it.

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  16. Then you should RESIST those who try to force it on people, instead of complying and encouraging compliance.

    You would have made a great civil rights leader. "Black people shouldn't be forced to sit in the back of the bus -- but on the other hand there's nothing morally wrong with sitting in the back. I sit there myself and encourage other black people to do the same. People who refuse to do so and treat it like a moral issue are dangerous hotheads."

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    1. Calm down and learn to read. Not only did I not encourage compliance, I explicitly criticized the mandate and said that those who put themselves at risk to work to reverse it deserve respect.

      At the same time, it is not wrong to take the vaccine, so that those who choose to do so are not sinning, and not betraying the Catholic faith. Hence it is wrong to pretend that refusal to take the vaccine is some hill that Catholics are obligated to die on.

      And your analogy is ridiculous. Segregation was intrinsically wrong. Taking the vaccine is not, and neither is a mandate (even if it is a bad idea and exemptions for conscience should be allowed).

      Thanks, however, by illustrating through your response the aptness of the "hothead" label.

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  17. Dr. Feser thank you for this post, it has helped me better digest the issue as a federal employee. I am not against the vaccine and maintain the Church's moral licitness concerning their. However, the mandates do bring up an interesting and difficult to discern scenario.

    Your statement about just war time conscription as an analogy, and possibly a framework, for analyzing how to approach the vaccine mandate is helpful. In our context, there seems to be two primary entities that are considered: (1) the actions of a reasonably just state, (2) the liberties of a citizen of a reasonably just state.
    The mandate does present an occasion where the state is seemingly offending a citizen’s liberties — the force of this offense can be seen by how little of an existential threat the virus actually presents.

    Can you clarify a point which I believe your post implies and your quote from Gaudium et Spes as well: Should the the default stance of a citizen towards the state be one deference to the state’s rules, laws, and regulations in the event that it conflicts with citizens liberties and when the material of the ruling is not formally a sin but only one of remote cooperation? If there is a degree in the warrant of the mandate and degree in the remoteness of the sin, does the state always win out though deference? Thanks! :-)

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  18. What do we make of the Pope mandating that all Vatican employees either be vaccinated or tested, otherwise they will be deemed absent and not be paid?

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/574338-vatican-ordering-all-employees-to-be-vaccinated-or

    Sure, if you can simply get tested, that's not forcing a vaccine, but who needs to pay for that test? If its the employee, then being unvaccinated is sort of like a tax.

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  19. Dr. Feser,

    About a month ago I was preparing an argument of my own on this topic for a friend of mine, which is in essence the same argument you present in this post. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the unbidden sanity/accuracy check.

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  20. Does the argument from conscription really work here, even in principle? It seems like classical moral reasoning would only approve of the conscription of adult men, and not so much from expediency (men more effective in combat, etc.), but as a matter of principle. Sending women and children into battle would defeat the purpose of going to battle in the first place -- strictly speaking, it would be a perversion.

    So it's not clear that the traditional approval of conscription shows that the state may legitimately compel anyone whatever (or in this case, absolutely everyone) to risk his life for the common good.

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  21. "Segregation was intrinsically wrong. Taking the vaccine is not, and neither is a mandate."

    If averting a relatively unlikely harmful outcome would invariably result in a definite and guaranteed harm in its stead, then such measure isn't just wrong, it's also evil. People who have been told to either 'jab up' or get out from their workplace, what are they supposed to do now? Starve? Die on the street? What sense is there to fire hundreds of thousands of people in an economy already wracked by unemployment and fiscal uncertainty, therefore relegating them to the dismal fate of poverty, homelessness, suicide, stress and depression, all of which taken together is guaranteed to have definite negative consequences to their personal health far in excess of this quite frankly overblown "pandemic"? When, in order to prevent a few serious complications of Covid, a vastly greater amount of people's lives are destroyed, what kind of medical calculus can possibly justify such a thing that's not downright sinister?

    Any sort of coercion, physical or mental, used to compel a law abiding person who has not been charged with any crime, to do something against their will (particularly a medical procedure) is forbidden not only by the constitution of the United States but by internationally upheld human rights laws such as the Nuremberg Code.

    I concur that there are times when those in authority are eligible to employ certain coercive measures to ensure public safety, such as during a critical emergency or a national disaster. In this case, the state must prove before a constitutional court of law that several things hold true beyond a margin of a doubt: the clear and present imminence of the danger at hand (which Covid isn't close to being), as well as the reasonableness of the curtailment of civil liberties needed to avert it. In this case Congress or the ruling authority of a state needs to pass a specific set of laws which abrogate Constitutionally mandated liberties and protections in light of this emergency. This has not been done in any country that at least publicly professes to obey the rule of law as the foundation of the legitimacy of the state.

    None of these mask, social distancing and vaccine mandates constitute, in a legally defined sense, as laws to be such. Of course just because something is a law doesn't render it automatically just. However in this case, these mandates can't be made into law for a very good reason - none of them have even a remotest chance of passing in a constitutional court, unless such a court is so thoroughly corrupt and politicized so as to be nothing more than an ideological extension of the plenary powers of the state. Until such a blessed time finally arrives at last, these are merely "emergency decrees" of a dubious legal nature, which any enterprise or individual can contest in court if they decide to do so. I repeat, nobody is under any legal obligation to comply with these mandates, since none of them are lawful to begin with. In issuing and enforcing these so called public health measures, the governments are trampling on the very premise of the legal system. Important public decisions are not made by elected representatives acting on behalf of the law, but de facto by medical administrators and self storied “experts” with hands deep in the pockets of the pharma industry. A state that permits this to go on, is no longer a legitimate government, but a criminal organization and its people are no longer citizens, but occupied civilians held in bondage. And if the legal officials tasked with overseeing the supreme courts of the nation are too chickenshit to challenge the blatant illegality of these mandates, then the precedent for such tyranny the likes of which mankind has never seen before is all but assured.

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  22. Mandates in my opinion border Communism, period!

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  23. The stubbornness from Ed in claiming for himself the status of "reasonable man" in his thoughts regarding the vaccine issue would be laughable if it weren't possibly demonic.

    Ed has no business proclaiming on moral matters, and it's probable he knows it deep down - perhaps he knew it once, but forgot it - but he continues.

    There are different degrees of sensus catholicus, and only those with the strongest occupy the station to opine on moral matters.

    The sensus catholicus of a believer is dependent on both things within and without the believer's control. For example, a believer may have been brought up in certain circumstances which altogether precluded any sensus catholicus - say, his parents were atheists - but he later found the faith. In this case, while his faith is good, the believer, if he truly believes from his heart and not from some warped motives such as treating religion as a game arena in which to beat other interlocutors, would be the first to tell you he has no right to opine on moral matters; leave it to those with a more perfect sensus catholicus.

    Regarding those things within one's control, the sensus catholicus is cultivated in the usual way - daily prayer, frequent meditation, daily Mass, daily reading on the lives of the saints, affiliating only with others who live the same, etc. At the forefront of such a person's mind in life would be the Four Last Things, and Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

    What is Ed's case? He was raised in the faith, then lost it completely. This tells you everything you need to know.

    A man with the highest kind of sensus catholicus, required for making moral judgments with any semblance of authority, does not lose the faith after being graced by God with being raised in it. This is simply not possible.

    Ed wears his lapsed atheism as a badge of honor - something to earn him points with believers - "have you heard of this guy? he was an atheist so he understands all their arguments really well, great guy to read". In reality, his former atheism, ESPECIALLY given his having been raised in the faith, is actually a massive red flag.

    Ed is fine to write about things which have little or no moral implication that tickle readers' eyes - interesting pieces about theological writings on angels, for instance. But as regards these moral issues, his sensus catholicus is nowhere near adequate to warrant his opinion being given, or listened to.

    St. Paul didn't have the faith and then lose it before his conversion. If there are any other "exceptions", they're just that, and as Chesterton says, exceptions merely prove the rule. Further it'd be flirting with blasphemy for Ed to call himself one of these extraordinary exceptions.

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    1. Thanks for the free therapy session. Now, do you have any actual reasoned response to the arguments I gave?

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    2. Pro-aborts argue the same way: no uterus? no say. No (more perfect) sensus catholicus? no say. But "people with uteruses", as the CDC might put it, don't argue una voce. So even if pro-aborts' initial premise were not entirely wrong (no uterus, no say), it wouldn't settle the matter. And the same is true here. Plenty of Catholics who have a "more perfect sensus catholicus" by your criteria have argued the vaccines are licit, or have taken one (Benedict XVI). The devil's favorite argumentative tactic, which we see deployed by the woke mob constantly, is the ad hominem--a virus we should be far more concerned about contaminating the ranks of our fellow Catholics with.

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  24. Dr. Feser,
    Thanks for your detailed posts on this topic.
    In this article you said that a vaccine mandate can be just or unjust. However, in your "Hill to Die On" piece you wrote, "A reasonable objection would have to be based instead on the judgment that they involve a failure of prudence." That seems to me to be a contradiction, but perhaps I'm conflating the context of those remarks from two different articles. Can you explain that further? I'm curious if you believe a vaccine mandate can be immoral and under what conditions a vaccine mandate becomes immoral.
    Many thanks!

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  25. A balanced exposition of the issue. However, I would offer two comments for improvement. First, Dr. Feser crafts his opinion by implying that if a conscience is "mistaken", then it would be with those who might object to receiving the vaccines. This bias should be corrected to include the other side of the divide, namely, that the "mistake" in conscience could also lie with those who believe taking the vaccines is morally acceptable.

    The second point is a related one. Conscience, as we know, needs to be informed. On the vaccine topic, we are dealing with many different variables: the moral issues (e.g. cooperation with evil), the political issues (e.g. mandates), the social issues (e.g. the threat of employment termination, the bullying and intimidation tactics), and the scientific issues (e.g. how bad is covid really? are the vaccines safe? are the vaccines really the only way out of this pandemic? are we still in a pandemic?). The media and political censorship of views only contributes to what you have correctly described as the mistrust of authority. So, somebody who considers these issues as deeply and widely as possible might arrive at an informed conscience that positively prohibits one from taking the vaccines. On the other hand, if one simply imbibes the talking points of the "powers that be" regarding all these topics, then for such a person there might not be a problem.

    How conscience is informed is the key to adjudicating this issue.

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  26. This is crushing. Every single visit since 2009 has been a joy for me, always enlightening always moral and intellectual brilliance (own all Ed's books)But on this most crucial topic he has fallen in an extremely dangerous way.

    Can't count how many viral videos there are explaining what these investigative RNA therapies actually are and what they're doing. How can someone as brilliant as Ed appear to not know about them? Take the latest multiple million view from acclaimed "Dr. Peter McCullough 'Therapeutic Nihilism And Untested Novel Therapies' | AAPS" (Rumble video)

    My point goes to the definition of 'vaccine' which has been unscrupulously abused by Davos 'super-class' and their philanthropic! spectre foundations.

    This issue has smothered us for nearly two years yet the most basic grounding in the issue seems completely absent.

    By some really discomforting reason it looks like I have extremely urgent background knowledge to share in here. Don't want to bombard people but perhaps an interview with Reiner Fuellmich/Vivianne Fischer 'Corona Investigative Committee for those completely in the dark. Perhaps his chat with James Delingpole? CIC (In German Corona-Ausschuss) has a dedicated video channel on odysee dot com with depositions from experts around the world. Fuellmich gave a presentation at a recent London rally that itself went viral. Can point to his interview with Whitney Webb (censored investigative journalist who has are article on Mercola as we speak 'Moderna Needs a Hail Mary') and Dr David Martin (CEO of largest underwriter of intangible assets/intellectual property in the world) as ones I've shared the most.

    Mike Whitney at unz has been across this since from the beginning and Dr Mike Yeadon, ex Pfizer VP (sold his biotech company for a billion dollars) has been all over the internet alerting people. And another "Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America" - Here Is The 'Spartacus COVID Letter' That's Gone Viral (zerohedge) is from expert insider.

    The CDF is horrendously out of touch (perhaps Lyn de Rothschild's Malthusian NGO 'Council for Inclusive Capitalism' given full access to the Holy See is responsible for the darkening. Inventor of mRNA therapy technology Dr Robert Malone 12-14 September 2021 International Covid Summit in Rome.(Lifesite News, can also watch his conversation with eminent vaccinologist Geert Vanden Bossche online) was able to explain to Cardinal Turkson what these RNA therapies are and what they're doing.

    Please this is urgent, let me know if I can help.

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  27. P.s.www ukcolumn dot org "stabilising-the-code" provides mechanism for general destruction of natural immunity by these mRNA therapies. "Dr Ryan Cole, a Pathologist, in a recent presentation, stated that he is observing a 20 x uptick in endometrial cancer, and increases in other cancers post SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

    And even more concerning: a senior consultant with decades of diagnosis and treatment at a dedicated cancer hospital described to a journalist off the record that all his vaccinated cancer patients were coming out of remission; and that cancer was jumping between organs, spreading at a speed that he has never seen before (pers. Comm.)."

    This destruction of innate immunity is the reason the 'vaccine' (in reality gain-of-function artifact made Davos bioweapon..see Whitney Webb/David Martin) efficacy is now very negative. (Israel/UK show much more disease in the twice injected) And 'fully vaccinated' means x number of boosters. Each injection does progressive damage to variegated immunity and it is said a person puts their immunity on subscription service to Pfizer in order to stay alive. (Pan-coronavirus/pan-influenza respiratory virus 'vaccines' are known to be uniquely difficult to make because of rapid mutation. But the political need from the central banker class 'vaccine'is central in proposed Great Reset to c20th totalitarianism. See interactive website with Covid-19 as central organising principle. This behavior was discovered in the founding minutes of among others the Carnegie Endowment See interview YT 'Norman Dodd on Tax Exempt Foundations' or Prof Sutton 'The Best Enemies Money Can Buy')

    Natural immunity was stricken from WHO definition of immunity by Gates-Gavi (see Fuellmich interview with WHO whistleblower Dr Astrid Stuckelberger). Definition of 'pandemic'was changed to exclude extraordinary disease and death. Rounding it out in latest iteration of WHO constitution - dictatorial power was ceded to the Sec. General (currently Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the worst possible character to hold the position) WHO subsequently legally binds all member states.

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  28. P.p.s Steve Kirsch (censored from twitter can find him on Gab) who was in a viral video with Robert Malone and Bret Weinstein shows that 150k people have been killed by the injections to date and millions maimed, to say nothing of medium/long term damage Rumble "TFNT11: The FDA's BIG mistake"

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  29. As someone who has recovered from Alpha last year and recently recovered from Delta (both mild cases, it is distressing that I am now forced to take a vaccine for which I do not need or loose my job. I work 100% remotely. The government would rather have me loose my job and put my entire family of six at risk of having no income then to make my own prudential judgement on what medical treatment I require. The government says it is your choice but how can it really be a free consenting decision with a gun to your head.This will go down in history as a very dark day. Slippery slope to Marxism then to Communism.

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  30. Given that you think a mandate is in principle legitimate, and it's a question of prudence whether to have one in these circumstances, how do you interpret the line from the CDF, "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"?

    I am seeing some Catholics try to use the phrase "it must be voluntary" to circumvent the question and assert that any mandate is per se unjust. That seems too broad to me. Based on what you've said, I don't think you would agree either, but how do you interpret that statement then?

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