The Vexatious Vaccine Versus Catholic Integrity – SSPX “Lifeboat” Leaking…

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…

Background

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.”

Summary…

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!  

 

Comment:

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. 

Warning: SSPX Shock Approval For Covid-19 Vaccine – Catholics Beware…


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).

Comments invited…