Church must help counter resistance to vaccines, health care expert
Vatican launches new resource kit for leaders, families
Members of the Catholic Church, especially religious working in health care and schools, have an important opportunity and duty to educate people about COVID-19 and to counter resistance to vaccinations, said an expert on the Vatican’s COVID-19 commission.
Women religious and Catholic organisations who serve others every day and have people’s trust are “our best hope for safe and fair distribution of vaccines as well as the best tool for convincing people of the safety and importance of taking the vaccines,” said Sr Carol Keehan, a nurse and Daughter of Charity.
The church also has clear teachings about the need for more ethical ways to produce and test vaccines, but it has said that receiving vaccines is not participating or cooperating with the evil of abortion, she said during an online meeting April 27 sponsored by the Rome-based International Union of Superiors General.
The event, dedicated to how women religious can be leaders in bringing Gospel values to new models of the economy and health care, was part of a series of meetings looking at ways sisters can empower other women and accompany and support those most affected and marginalised by the pandemic.
r Keehan is the chair of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission’s health task force. She gave the more than 300 participants online an overview of the two main goals of the taskforce: an equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments, and reducing the resistance to taking the vaccine.
People have been showing resistance to the vaccine for a number of reasons, she said, and so the taskforce created a ‘resource kit’ for church leaders and families, available in multiple languages on the commission’s website: www.humandevelopment.va/en/vatican-covid-19.html. The first part of the kit is dedicated to explaining the Church’s teaching on vaccines, Sr Keehan said.
“For years we have known that most vaccines are made and/or tested using stem cells grown in a laboratory that originated from a foetus aborted over 40 years ago. Almost all of us have had a vaccine made in this way,” she said.
“The Church has decades of theology and ethical teachings, asking that better ways of testing and producing vaccines should be a goal but that taking these vaccines, or administering them to children, is not participating or cooperating with the evil of abortion,” she said.
Kit counters “massive amount of misinformation”
“In spite of this, a number of voices immediately started refusing to take the vaccines that had been made and or tested this way. Some of them were bishops in various dioceses, as well as priests and other teachers of the faith,” she said.
Several Vatican dicasteries stepped in again to clarify the church’s position on the acceptability of the vaccines when no others are available, and, she added, “Pope Francis has been very clear that it is a moral responsibility to take the vaccines to protect oneself, one’s family and one’s community from this deadly disease.”
Because of “the massive amount of misinformation that is out there,” the resource kit is constantly updated with clinical and scientific facts from reputable sources, she said. What makes the kit unique, she added, is all the information is seen “through a Catholic lens” with all the related theological, ethical and moral issues included.
Sr Keehan urged religious and Catholic organisations to recognise and utilise the credibility and trust they have with the communities they work with.
“Many scientists have said to me that you could put the best scientists or the most senior government official in a room and their voice would be less effective than the voice of people who have been caring for others before the pandemic, during the pandemic and will be there after the pandemic,” she said. “This gives us a privileged place and the responsibility to help people understand from voices they trust what they need to do to protect themselves and their families,” she said.
Religious congregations and Catholic aid groups will be key players in distributing the vaccine in poor nations where there is wide skepticism and deeply ingrained distrust of vaccination programs by the government or other groups.
Many countries in Africa have “really good reasons” for that skepticism, she said, citing examples of people being tricked into paying for free shots, vaccines being diluted, counterfeit or sold to the wealthy.
“There will be scams, but can we protect the poor” and those “most vulnerable to a scam” by guaranteeing the safety of donated drugs and “getting the vaccine ourselves,” she said. “Many people have said over and over again, ‘Pope Francis got the vaccine. Pope Francis told me I should get it for my family and that made me decide I would get it,’” she said.
Women religious also have tremendous credibility from their decades of helping people during outbreaks of Ebola, HIV, malaria and other infectious or deadly diseases, she said. And they can have an impact once again during this current pandemic by educating people and making sure safe and effective vaccines are used correctly and go to everyone.
The Church “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines” in building a better world, she said, and this global problem must be faced “as a global family”.
So Pope Francis got the vaccine. You sure?
Many highly qualified Scientists worldwide are warning against the vaccine. They are more qualified than Sisters. Look it up on you tube. There is much rubbish on the internet, some of it is true.
The Pope and Religious should be promoting the Mass, the Rosary, prayer, fasting and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. These are the real vaccines.
History clearly shows that the above are remedies for ALL evils.
The virus and evil are mutating out of control. Gods love and Promises never change.
Never forget that the Religious of Jesus day demanded His death. Many Religious of today have betrayed Jesus. The Laity come off no better. Many dont believe in the real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Many use contraception, many participate in abortion or are silent. People used to ask how did the Holocaust of the Jews, etc come about?
6 million innocent people killed. Billions of innocent babies have been murdered since the 1950s.
To Jab or not to Jab is not the question or the answer.
Jesus freely chose momentary suffering over eternal death. We also have free will.
Be like Job in the Bible or take the jab. Trust God or trust insanity to save you.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape death. Think about it.
Why should we ask for, or recieve, a gene changeing experimental innoculation to supposedly prevent us from catching a “flu”virus (there are no statistics to even suggest this outcome) which after all has killed far fewer people than the increase of suicide cases? The deaths from all causes in Australia and equally in the US, according to the respective Govt. agencies for statistics, was lower in 2020 than in preceeding years. So why all the fuss to have us accept an aborted baby tissue tainted “vaccine???
I was devastated last Sunday to receive a command to pray a prayer for the vaccine’s distribution, which of course I did not partake in. The people at Mass should be informed of what the vaccines contain, so that they can make an informed choice. God hates abortion and so should we. Proverbs 6:16,17 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood.” Now why would a Church founded on Jesus Christ be having anything to do with a vaccine made up of this stuff or that has been tested with it, no matter when it took place? It is based on the murder of a child, therefore it is an abomination according to this scripture. Christians should not take it and we should not be coerced into doing so.