A few weeks ago the SSPX USA District published an article on its website headed: “Is it morally permissible to use the Covid-19 vaccine?” It was a rather short piece advising on the moral implications for Catholics weighing new and existing vaccines produced from the stem cell lines of aborted babies.
Short as it was, however, the article was read by many Traditional Catholics, myself included, as a scandalous capitulation to Modernist moral theological thought. I wrote immediately to the District Superior of the U.S., as did others, raising objection to the piece which was subsequently removed and replaced with a message that said something to the effect that the Society’s moral theologians and medical experts were now reviewing the content under the supervision of SSPX superiors and would re-publish in due course.
Well, the SSPX reposted their review on December 4 and it said exactly the same as the first time around, except this time with lots of added superfluous passages to make it appear more deeply researched and authoritative.
Here are the three principal erroneous teachings expounded in both the original and revised articles:
1: “The doctor who vaccinates a patient, or the patient who is vaccinated, has only distant cooperation, for these acts only encourage and promote the sin of abortion in a very remote and very slight way. For sufficient health reasons, such acts could therefore be morally permitted.”
2: “A young woman who is to get married can thus receive the rubella vaccine, although such a vaccine is almost always prepared on fetal cells obtained by abortion. The reason is the danger for the child: if a woman contracts rubella during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, the risk of birth defects – eye, hearing or heart – are significant. These malformations are permanent.”
3: “As cooperation is only distant, and the reason given is serious enough, it is possible in these cases to use such a vaccine. Moreover, it remains for each individual to judge, with the help of appropriate advice, this real need. ..It must be clearly stated that we are here in the domain of a prudent judgment, which cannot be uniform for all and in all cases. Moral theology says what is lawful or unlawful. It gives the principles. But it is for personal prudence to judge their application on a case-by-case basis.”
Concerning this third erroneous proposition, it seems to me that there’s a bit of sophistry being employed here similar to that used by the Francis revolutionaries who also use the ‘principle Vs. prudence’ argument in order to justify the admittance of divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabiting couples, etc., to Holy Communion. At any rate, I ran these past a trustworthy Traditional Catholic priest of more than 35 years and he in turn responded with the following three reasons showing why this SSPX advice is both ethically and morally wrong:
Vaccines Derived from Aborted Fetal Cells (Fetal DNA) are Immoral and Must be Rejected
(1) Reason 1: It is sinful to do evil to accomplish good (Rom. 3:8). Thus, it is sinful to make use of a good effect/benefit that has been derived or procured from an evil means. Using a covid-19 vaccine derived from, or tainted with, or tested with, aborted fetal tissue (fetal DNA) would constitute using an evil means, i.e., tissue (DNA) from an aborted fetus, in order to accomplish a good end, i.e., a medical cure. Therefore, the use of vaccines derived from, or tainted with, aborted fetal tissue is immoral and forbidden.
The “double effect” cannot be invoked: According to the moral principle of “double effect,” it is morally permitted, in cases of necessity, to employ an action which simultaneously produces two effects, one good and one evil, provided that: (1) only the good effect is willed, and (2) the good effect is not derived from the evil effect (for it is sinful to obtain a good end by the use of evil means). The principle of the “double effect” cannot be invoked in the use of vaccines derived from, or tainted with, or tested with, aborted fetal tissue (fetal DNA). The reason is because the good effect, i.e., medical cure, is obtained by means of the evil effect, i.e., the sin of abortion, from which the fetal tissue (DNA) was procured and used in the development and/or testing of the vaccine. Thus, the use of such vaccines is morally illicit.
[An example of a permissible action with a “double effect” would be a doctor’s prescription of a strong pain medication to relieve severe pain in a cancer patient, even though the use of such medication may also have the side effect to slowly shorten the patient’s life. In this case, the good effect, i.e., the present relief from severe pain, is the direct result of the pain medication, and is not derived from the evil effect, i.e., the shortening of life. Rather both good effect and bad effect are a simultaneous result of the use of the strong pain medication.]
(2) Reason 2: Just as it is forbidden to knowingly receive and use stolen money, especially if the victim was murdered in order to steal his money (for it is unlawful to benefit from a crime), so also it is forbidden to use a vaccine which is developed with the use of fetal tissue (fetal DNA) that has been stolen from an aborted (murdered) fetus—which is already a human person. Just as the stolen money always remains the property of the victim of theft or robbery, so also the vital organ (e.g., kidney, liver, etc.) and the tissue/DNA taken from it, always remain the property of the fetus—and connected to the physical integrity of his/her body. Therefore, it is immoral and illicit to use vaccines that have been developed or tested with the use of aborted fetal DNA.
(3) Reason 3: “Organ donation”: The use of covid-19 vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissue cannot be likened to the use of a donated vital organ, e.g., kidney or liver, for in the case of organ donation, the organ donor gives consent to donating his organ, i.e., he freely donates his organ. However, if an organ “donor” is murdered in order to obtain his vital organ, the use of such an organ, or tissue (DNA) from this organ, is immoral and forbidden. Consequently, since this is the method used in obtaining fetal tissue from an aborted fetus, it follows that using a vaccine derived from aborted fetal DNA is immoral and not permitted.”
Now some may argue that this response is merely the opinion of one priest setting himself against eminent moral theologians of the SSPX. My answer to that is to quote the following statements of far more eminent Church prelates whose words ring true in every properly formed Catholic conscience.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider
From a Lifesitenews article, for example, which includes an interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, we have this:
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I have the suspicion that partly this COVID situation was created not only to implement a new dictatorship and control of the population, but in some way to legalize abortion globally – the killing of unborn babies – so that the entire planet will be collaborating in the process of killing babies through the vaccine which will use parts of aborted babies. The vaccine will be imposed and obligatory – so that you cannot work, travel, go to school without it, obliging the entire population to receive the vaccine, but the only vaccine will be that made with cells from aborted babies. Perhaps they will not accept other vaccines, and they will lie, saying that these are not effective, that the only effective vaccine will be from aborted babies. I am not affirming now that this will happen, but it is my suspicion: it appears to me realistic that this could come. This is for me the last step of Satanism: that Satan and the world government – ultimately the Masonic world government – will oblige all, even the Church, to accept abortion in this way. And therefore we must resist very strongly against this, if it comes. We must even accept to be martyrs…Unfortunately, some Bishops, even good Bishops and priests, are already presenting what for me is a sophism in justifying that you can accept this vaccine from aborted babies according to moral principles.”
From the same article Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas concurs thus:
Bishop Joseph Strickland
“…if a vaccine for this virus is only attainable if we use body parts of aborted children then I will refuse the vaccine…I will not kill children to live.” The bishop publicly re-issued this rejection of such vaccines: “I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children. Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts.” Source
Also, in an open letter published in May, several Catholic Cardinals and bishops led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats said that “for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.”
Additionally, at the May 2020 Rome Life Forum Cardinal Raymond Burke said: “It must be clear that it is never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses.” He added that forced vaccines violate the
“integrity of citizens.”
Cardinal Raymond Burke
These authoritative declarations conclusively show the moral theologians of the SSPX to have deviated from Traditional Catholic teaching in so grave a matter, a fact confirmed by the references they cite from more recent Vatican advice that just happens to be shared by most of the destructive Modernist hierarchy right up to Francis himself.
And this is not an isolated incident. Recall, for example, the invitation extended to Fr. Sean Kilcawley to share the lecture podium with Bishop Fellay during the October, 2019 Angelus Conference. this Novus Ordo priest, said to be an expert on John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body”, is touted as a pornography addiction counsellor. Here is one example of Fr. Kilcawley’s counselling, a highly controversial video statement that went viral:
“… simply invite Our Lord into our temptation and into our thoughts in the present moment. To say, “Jesus, I want to look at pornography right now.” Or, “Jesus, I’m having an impure thought right now. You’re welcome into my imagination. You’re welcome to watch these thoughts with me.” [Ed: click here to read our discussion in response to that scandal].
Nor is it just in the sphere of morals that we have reason to question the direction of the SSPX right now, for there is also a definite lean towards embracing modern pseudo-scientific thought.
Most informed Traditional Catholics, for example, are fully aware that the Covid-19 plague narrative is a geopolitical ruse concocted by a world Socialist elite as a means of supplanting global democracy with Communist totalitarianism. Proper official science has long proven this Coronavirus to be harmless for 99.97% of the global population, a fact easily discerned from a mere cursory glance at national and global death figures, yet the SSPX raises the controversial question of vaccines for the virus as though the plague narrative were credible and the vaccine question of some urgency.
Covid-19 patient, 120 years, mother of 12, wheeled out of hospital after two weeks “with clean bill of health” to applause from NHS staff .
A similar example of drift towards pseudo-science was Fr. Paul Robinson’s book “The Realist Guide to Religion and Science“, a work that has nothing whatever to do with the supernatural mission of the SSPX but which nevertheless negatively impacts on the Traditional Catholic understanding of Genesis by attempting to reconcile the Scriptural account of Creation with the utterly ridiculous “Big Bang” theory.
This is all very concerning, indicative of a serious problem within the higher clerical structure of the Society of St. Pius X. Whether the issue is one of infiltration or weakening of faith, I cannot say. What I can say to all those who, like me, are decades attached to the SSPX, to the saintly memory of Archbishop Lefebvre and to the many good priests who still make up the majority in the Society, is that we must watch like hawks going forward!
Not only must we reject deviations such as the advice on vaccines, the Fr. Kilcawley experiment and the Fr. Robinson science fiction, we must also henceforth check everything the SSPX superiors propose touching on faith and morals against the Traditional teaching of the Church and we must be vigilant in particular with regard to what is being taught to children in SSPX schools.
While it grieves me very greatly to have to say this publicly, I’m afraid there is no other option given the gravity of the situation and a demonstrable track record of SSPX superiors treating the concerns of subordinates with a contemptuous silence and a “business as usual” attitude which is utterly destructive of trust.
We all know the subtlety of Modernism, how it creeps in by degrees and ends in the destruction of everything we hold dear. If Vatican II and its aftermath have taught us anything it is that silence in the face of error is fatal to faith and must therefore be stopped immediately at source. That’s our task now, to react instantly like an immune system whenever the least sign of Modernist poison is detected within the SSPX. So let us be vigilant and let us not fail to raise our voices dutifully in respectful correction whenever error is taught, regardless of the dignity of the one who teaches it. Let us also pray fervently for all our priests. (Published with kind permission of the author, Martin Blackshaw aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius).