Martin Blackshaw, aka blogger Athanasius, has penned another very strong correction to the Pope Francis-inspired permission for Catholics to take the abortion-tainted Covid-19 vaccines.
During the current diabolical disorientation within the Church – otherwise fondly known as the Barque of Peter – many Catholics, seeking liturgical relief, took refuge in the “lifeboat” provided by the Society of St Pius X (SSPX).
Returning to the traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments, plus the reassurance that the Society preaches only that which is found in Catholic Tradition, has kept a lot of us afloat, this past half-century. It is, therefore, hugely disappointing and, indeed, shocking, to discover that the “lifeboat” is leaking – that the SSPX has decided, for example, to go along with the Vatican line on the Covid-19 vaccines.
Having discussed our concerns about this already here, we feel the need to return to the topic, given the ongoing confusion and unrest felt by many lay people, including those long devoted to the SSPX. Martin Blackshaw writes…
Most of us, I’m sure, could never have imagined just one year ago that in as short a period as 12 months the global economy would be smashed to pieces, millions would be put out of work, Christians would be denied their fundamental right to the public worship of God and the vast majority of the citizens on earth would be deprived of their natural freedom and liberties. Yet, in the name of a respiratory virus, which is relatively harmless for most people, this apocalyptic scenario has come upon the human race with lightening speed.
The culture shock resulting from such a transformation of our way of life is not new to Traditional Catholics who witnessed a similar evil sweep through the universal Church following Vatican II, trampling all that had been held sacred and secure for generations, thus paving the way for the present victory of Communist totalitarianism over the nations.
Archbishop Viganò has more than once cited this work of iniquity as a coalition effort between operatives of the “deep Church” and operatives of the “deep State”, working together to bring about a New World secular Order over which Lucifer will usurp the Kingship of Christ.
That we are in fact living through the chastisement revealed by Our Lady in the Third Secret of Fatima is beyond question. Ours is a time largely of apostasy from God, even at the highest levels in the Church, resulting in victories for the anti-Christian forces beyond anything they, or we, could ever have imagined possible.
We know through faith of course that this time of trial will pass, as all such assaults of the devil on the Church and the world have passed. Our Lady will have the final victory and all will be restored in grace, though we know not how or when this will come about. What we do know is that matters are presently racing to a conclusion in this final battle between the serpent and she who will crush his head, so an end to it is not too far distant.
So much for the black and white of opposing forces in the present supernatural warfare, by which I mean the obvious evil and the obvious good as well as the happy outcome that those who are well disposed can see. But what about the grey areas, those danger zones which, like minefields, have to be traversed cautiously if we are to arrive safely at our destination when the war is won?
One such grey area has recently appeared before us and it threatens to wipe out a good many good souls who, in my opinion, have imprudently diverged from the safe path of the Church’s traditional and authentic moral teaching in favour of a more convenient, less arduous route only recently mapped out and offered non-authoritatively for alternative use.
I write of course about COVID-19 vaccines produced from or tested using the stem cell lines of aborted fetuses and the quite shocking position of the SSPX hierarchy in relation to their use.
If the faithful needed reminding that no particular institution in the Church is 100% safe at a time when the legitimate authorities themselves, the successors of St. Peter and the Apostles, are failing so manifestly in their duty to teach and to sanctify, it is in the SSPX position that such vaccines may be licitly taken in cases of necessity where moral alternatives are unavailable.
I first read (and re-read) this astounding and dangerously flawed guidance on the SSPX U.S. website some months back and I couldn’t believe my eyes. My Catholic conscience immediately alerted me to the falsehood before me.
I guess many other simple faithful were likewise seriously disturbed by this development, for the aforesaid website guidance was quickly taken down and replaced with a message announcing that an SSPX moral theologian was examining it, together with superiors, and would post an update soon.
Well it didn’t take long before the same guidance was back up on the website, only in a much longer text which read remarkably like sophistry.
The next I heard was that a certain Fr. Loop had been designated to present a conference on the subject to the faithful of Post Falls, Idaho – one of the largest Traditional Catholic enclaves in the U.S. I can only presume that many of the faithful remained troubled and Fr. Loop’s job was to reassure them. As far as I can tell from some comments I’ve read online, Fr. Loop failed in his task.
While this was ongoing I wrote to Fr. Fullerton, the U.S. District Superior, expressing my concern on the basis of the alternative (authentic) teaching of a number of tradition-leaning prelates whose counsel is that Catholics are not permitted to take vaccines tainted with the stem cell lines of aborted fetuses under any circumstances, given the very grave nature of the sin of abortion.
I wrote similarly to Fr. Loop, to Fr. Seligny, the SSPX moral theologian responsible for the U.S. website article and to Fr. Brucciani in the UK, who has sadly put out the same erroneous and dangerous advice. Not one of these priests granted me the courtesy of a response, which is extremely disturbing.
I did, however, receive a prompt and kind response from another SSPX superior who shall remain nameless for reasons of prudence.
Sadly, though, while evidently of upright intention, this superior is also on board with the “party line” (to use a crude term), convinced that the moral principle of “remote material co-operation” expressed in the works of St. Alphonsus may be applied in the case of grave necessity to abortion-tainted COVID vaccines.
Here is the proposition summarised in paraphrase: ‘The faithful are generally not permitted to receive abortion-tainted vaccines. However, in cases of grave necessity where moral alternatives are unavailable it is licit to receive such vaccines provided that objection is first made to the method of manufacture. This exception to the general rule, in cases of grave necessity only, amounts to “remote material co-operation”, a much lesser sin than formal co-operation.’
Juxtaposed to this proposition we have the joint letter of Cardinal Pujats, Archbishops Peta and Lenga and bishops Strickland and Schneider, reminding us of the authentic moral teaching of the Church. Here are a few excerpts of that letter which can be read in full here
“In the case of vaccines made from the cell lines of aborted human fetuses, we see a clear contradiction between the Catholic doctrine to categorically, and beyond the shadow of any doubt, reject abortion in all cases as a grave moral evil that cries out to heaven for vengeance (see Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2268, n. 2270), and the practice of regarding vaccines derived from aborted fetal cell lines as morally acceptable in exceptional cases of “urgent need” — on the grounds of remote, passive, material cooperation. To argue that such vaccines can be morally licit if there is no alternative is in itself contradictory and cannot be acceptable for Catholics…
…The theological principle of material cooperation is certainly valid and may be applied to a whole host of cases (e.g. in paying taxes, the use of products made from slave labor, and so on). However, this principle can hardly be applied to the case of vaccines made from fetal cell lines, because those who knowingly and voluntarily receive such vaccines enter into a kind of concatenation, albeit very remote, with the process of the abortion industry. The crime of abortion is so monstrous that any kind of concatenation with this crime, even a very remote one, is immoral and cannot be accepted under any circumstances by a Catholic once he has become fully aware of it. One who uses these vaccines must realize that his body is benefitting from the “fruits” (although steps removed through a series of chemical processes) of one of mankind’s greatest crimes…
…More than ever, we need the spirit of the confessors and martyrs who avoided the slightest suspicion of collaboration with the evil of their own age. The Word of God says: “Be simple as children of God without reproach in the midst of a depraved and perverse generation, in which you must shine like lights in the world” (Phil. 2, 15)…”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider reiterates the position thus In a separate LSN interview, the full transcript of which can be read, or video viewed, here
“…I repeat, it is the most anti-pastoral and counterproductive, that in this time, exactly in this historical hour, [that] Catholics will justify their use of abortion-tainted vaccines with the theory of material remote cooperation. It is so illogical – we have to recognize this in this historical hour in which we are living…”
In yet another interview with LSN, Bishop Schneider warns:
“…some bishops, even good ones, are making a huge explanation to me in a sophistic manner, of the principle of moral cooperation only, without your will, without your consent. But this is for me as sophism which cannot be applied to this concrete case, because it is evident to simple common sense that when you know this – that this vaccine is from aborted babies – then you cannot apply this moral principle, or theory, to this concrete case. And therefore we have to be very careful not to be induced into error because of this sophistic argument, even when it comes from good, traditional priests. This is the danger, and we have to resist this…” Read the full transcript here
Finally, in a May 8 “Appeal for the Church and the World“, signed by a number of prelates including Cardinals Gerhard Müller, Zen & Pujats, Archbishop Viganò , Bishop Schneider and other senior Churchmen as well as countless Catholic journalists, physicians, academics and associations, we find this declaration:
“…Let us also remember, as Pastors, that for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses…” – click here to read the Appeal for the Church and the World.
Writing in reply to the aforementioned SSPX District Superior, whose identity is not important here, I upheld this authentic moral teaching of the traditional prelates and other Catholics in the following words:
“I share the view of Bishop Athanasius Schneider and the other traditional prelates in this instance, who insist that abortion is so uniquely and gravely sinful as to render the normal considerations of “necessity” and “remote material co-operation” moot. These are general moral principles that are weighed in matters pertaining to sins common to fallen human nature, not to sins that are against nature and which cry to heaven for vengeance. Hence, the “material co-operation” argument is misapplied in the case of abortion-tainted vaccines and is therefore fallacious…
…I would like to clarify that it was never my intention to contend that those who seek to benefit from these vaccines are guilty of formal co-operation in the sin of abortion itself, but rather that they are guilty of formal co-operation in the use of evil means, i.e., the immoral process of using aborted fetal cells in the production and/or testing of the vaccine. In other words, they are guilty of using an evil means in order to accomplish good–which is never allowed. I apologise if I did not make myself clear on this point in my previous communication.”
For whatever reason, whether by simple error or for reasons of avoiding direct confrontation with this vaccine-pushing Pope and his various national hierarchies, the SSPX is seriously ill-advising the faithful for the first time in the 35-years I have been associated with it.
Therefore every Catholic with a sense of the faith, whose conscience automatically balks at the suggestion that we may, in circumstances of grave necessity, do evil that good may come from it, must disregard this SSPX advice along with that of other churchmen, be they Traditional or Modernist, Pope or priest, who propose the “remote material co-operation” fallacy in the case of abortion-tainted vaccines.
We are never at liberty to benefit from an evil means, not even when our lives depend on it. This is the authentic moral teaching of the Church and the faith of the martyrs, who could so easily have burned a mere grain of incense before the pagan deities to save their lives using similar argument in their minds, but who chose instead to die a cruel death rather than offend God.
Let us consider just one example of such ardent faith – the martyrdom of the early Christian St. Sophia and her three young daughters, aged 11, 10 & 9 years.
All four steadfastly refusing before the Roman emperor Hadrian to burn incense before the goddess Artemis, Hadrian proceeded to have the children horribly tortured one after the other in full view of their mother.
At length, when the children finally succumbed to the unspeakable sufferings inflicted upon them, St. Sophia was granted leave to take them for burial, the idea of the pagan emperor being that she should live with the torment in her heart.
But Our Lord had other plans. After three days of mourning her beloved children He took her from this world to enjoy eternal beatitude in heaven.
Compare this example of great faith with that of Catholics today who advise that it is licit under certain strict circumstances to use products made from or tested with the stem cells of brutally murdered little babies. Yes, it is wholly scandalous!
There will be people who attend SSPX churches who read this and become angry at the very idea that anyone should criticise the SSPX for just about anything. It’s an immature attitude, if not completely childish.
There will be comments flowing into me by email and newcomers to the blog who will languish in the moderation file, telling me to stop attending the SSPX church if I don’t like it etc. blah blah. Martin will, needless to say, get it in the neck as well.
So, please be assured; we fully appreciate the SSPX clergy providing us with Mass and the Sacraments. Just as we appreciate that the Scottish Bishops are counted among the successors of the apostles. Doesn’t mean we cannot comment on their statements or actions as we may comment on the statements and actions of other professionals. After all, priests are the most important of all professionals.
Other professionals are limited to catering for the well-being of people in this world alone, while priests are charged with the immensely more important work of preparing souls for eternity in Heaven.
So, folks, please don’t expect replies to any emails calling us names for expressing our concerns about this matter. A measured comment – absent any nasty personal remarks – submitted for publication on our blog, is a different matter. Feel free.