No, there is not a “moral imperative” to take the vaccines

Some Church leaders are more confident, or even outrightly brazen, in turning vaccines into an issue of morality than they are of turning sexual morality into a serious issue.

(Image: Mufid Majnun/Unsplash.com)

With so many challenges facing us today when it comes to COVID—new variants, shifting directives from numerous authorities, endless questions about so many complex factors—I was heartened to read this bit of sensitive sanity from an American Cardinal:

It goes without saying that this will also mean rejecting an authoritarian or paternalistic way of dealing with people that lays down the law, that pretends to have all the answers, or easy answers to complex problems, that suggests that general rules will seamlessly bring immediate clarity or that the teachings of our tradition can preemptively be applied to the particular challenges confronting couples and families.

Perhaps you missed it. If so, there’s a good reason: the quote, while indeed by an American prelate, has nothing to do with COVID. It is from a February 9, 2018 address titled “Pope Francis’ Revolution of Mercy: Amoris Laetitia as a New Paradigm of Catholicity”, delivered by Cardinal Blase Cupich at the Von Hügel Institute, in Cambridge, England.

I mention and quote it because last week Cardinal Cupich published a column with the rather rigid, black-and-white title, “Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a moral imperative”. He applauds the growing numbers of Americans getting the COVID shots, and says: “Controlling the growth of the contagion is critical, making universal vaccination a moral imperative.” He states it is “promising” that “60% of Americans agree with the statement, ‘Because getting vaccinated against COVID-19 helps protect everyone, it is a way to live out the religious principle of loving my neighbors.'”

Now, that may be praiseworthy. Maybe not. But it is simply beside the point. Neither the pope, nor his doctrinal dicastery, nor any serious moral theologian has argued or asserted that getting the vaccine is a moral imperative.

In fact, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explicitly said the opposite, a year ago: “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.” Individual Catholics are free to use their prudential judgment and make informed decisions, while following their consciences, about the COVID shots.

Cupich, in his column, of course never mentions the conscience. I point this out because he has a notable record of invoking “conscience” when it comes to matters of sexual morality. For instance, six years ago this month he stated:

When people who are in good conscience, working with a spiritual director, come to a decision that they need to follow that conscience. That’s the teaching of the church. So in the case of people receiving Communion in situations that are irregular, that also applies.

The question then was, ‘Does that apply to gay people?’ My answer was, ‘They’re human beings, too.’ They have a conscience. They have to follow their conscience. They have to be able to have a formed conscience, understand the teaching of the church, and work with a spiritual director and come to those decisions. And we have to respect that.

No mention of a “moral imperative” there. And that isn’t too surprising, as Cupich has a flawed and problematic understanding of conscience, as I’ve examined in detail.

Meanwhile, we are left with this uncomfortable fact: some Church leaders are more confident, or even outrightly brazen, in turning vaccines into an issue of morality than they are of turning sexual morality into a serious issue—one that affects lives and souls in ways that are physically, emotionally, relationally, and eternally damaging.

To be clear, I have declined to take the existing COVID shots primarily because of concerns about efficacy and safety, not to mention necessity. I am also curious about the increasingly religious, even cultish, nature of those who insist that the vaccines are the way, the truth, and the life. The obsession with the shots is not really rooted in science, just as the fear-mongering about COVID betrays a technocratic vision of life that is, in many ways, far more concerning on a social and civilizational level than is COVID itself.

That being said, if you decide the shots are for you, I have no interest in stopping you or making any moral judgments about your choice. But declaring that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a “moral imperative” is a bridge too far. Not even Pope Francis’s CDF went there.

(Note: The opinions expressed here are the mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of CWR staff or Ignatius Press.)


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Carl E. Olson 1171 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.

85 Comments

  1. Again, the imperative falls flat when facts are acknowledged that vaccinated people DO still become infected and DO still infect others. It DOES seem to mitigate symptoms in many, but also HAS crippled and killed quite a few of those who take it.

  2. While I may not agree with your rationale to decline the Vax I fully agree it must be left to the individual to decide conscientiously. Likely more significant is your expose of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s conscientious commitment to new paradigm moral theology attributed to Amoris Laetitia on mercy.
    +The contention is an exception to the rule, which in some instances exist when mitigating conditions warrant, such as extreme fear, mental incapacity. Except. When related to inherent evil, that which is evil by nature such as irregular unions, namely adultery inclusive of remarriage outside the Church, homosexual unions there are no exceptions. Cardinal Cupich adheres to a doctrine that he attributes to the Roman Pontiff that allows for abrogation of Church censure against committing sins that always and in every circumstantial instance are grave sin.
    +As an eminent churchman frequently appointed by His Holiness to positions of influence, it may be reasonably ‘assumed’ that what he’s quoted in this article represents the mind and teaching of His Holiness Pope Francis.
    +With a certain conscience I reject Cardinal Cupich’s views on this issue, and if applicable any other’s that admit to his mistaken positions. Recognition and faithful response is our duty to Christ and his Mystical Body.

    • Allow me to muse on the issue of Covid cultism. Or should we name it CovidVaxxism, a pseudo scientific religiosity. For and against fall into this pseudo scientific religiosity, called a cult by editor Olson in reference to the moral imperative pro Vaxx types. Perhaps the best take was Roberto de Mattei’s, a pro Vaxx person who said, It’s not a religious issue.
      There is then evidence of cultism in both camps of the controversy. Dr Farrow’s recent article expose of worldwide conspiracy, Dark Tower shenanigans and the flood of borderline hysteric approval give that credence. So cult me in or cult out, I stand with De Mattei, Dr Josef Seifert that’s it’s simply a matter of conscience with benefit weighing in favor of the Vaxx especially for the vulnerable.

      • I asked a friend: if you know that perhaps several people were brutally dissected alive to enable the creation of this vaccine, would you still take it?

        If we know that it is not one single abortion (the baby already dead anyway) but that to extract the HEK293 cell, the baby was alive, would you still think it is okay to take the jab?

        What if you find out that the number 293 means that this is the 293rd attempt to “immortalize” HEK? Even if each attempt is not one to one (one vivisection per one attempt) that would still be a whole lot of babies dissected to extract their organs while still alive.

        There’s a documentary on the aftermath of WW2 in Germany when Allied Forces forced the Germans to see the camps and gas chambers. When they were going in to the camps, they were all rather casual, lightheartedly conversing.

        The mood changed completely as one by one they saw the result of the atrocities.

        I wonder, if our angels can take us on a tour, through time as baby after baby is killed one after another, seeing them cut up alive as their organs are harvested. Dead cells are useless. Then we see the jubilation at the end as they finally did it… they have HEK293!!! Woo hoo!

        And imagine if you can, time compressed, with this eureka euphoria moment seizing scientists while blood and gore are splattered every where as dismembered baby parts littered the lab.

        Meanwhile we say we are against abortion.

  3. From the perspective of broad history, Christopher Dawson explains that the oriental religions remain confined within the cycles of ever-repeating history, while the unique revelation of the Incarnation into earthly history gave a path to future “progress.” God was working within history, beginning with the prophetic Chosen People(as unlikely and insignificant on the landscape as any fulfillment in a mere manger in Bethlehem).

    It was no longer blasphemy to inquire into the workings of a “nature” that is distinct from God.

    So, I have a quibble with Olson’s analysis on only the point that COVID policy is becoming a “cult.” Instead, we might well agree that COVID policy is a ham-fisted effort to demonstrated to a scientific and post-Christian world that the Church is fully onboard with “THE” science! No religious morons or conflict now!

    The COVID/”follow-the-science” thingy is a stumbling block for clerics because of the ambiguity of “the science” itself. Cupich and his minions would anoint a Science/State narrative, and many in the Church, like the oriental despotisms of pre-Christian times, are quick to get onboard.

    Who is this Cupich, anyway (recently outvoted by the USCCB 222-8 re Eucharistic coherence)? Scholarly books and stuff? Or, a one-liner: a jab is a “moral imperative”! Sounds more like an Islamic fatwa than Catholic prudential judgment.

    So, worse than a “cult”–instead, a 2,000-year reversion to the front end of Western civilization, to before the birth of Christ. Merry Christmas! The cancel culture in spades, or is it in red hats? Is a person in the archdiocese of Chicago and beyond now a heretic for at least considering, in conscience, the contrarian science (!) marginalized from the mainstream media (?):

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/11/01/doctors-blow-the-whistle-on-vaccine-deaths-and-injuries/
    https://physiciansforinformedconsent.org.

  4. Such an excellent point, Mr. Olson! The contrast is striking!

    Cupich and his cadre don’t even pretend any more. The gospel they preach is the gospel of the leftist elites — which is to say, the gospel of the unholy spirits.

    It’s clear that Cupich’s only moral imperatives are those that help leftists consolidate their power — period.

    • Proving that Catholic prelates are not the only ones who are utterly clueless about the gospel. A number of clergymen in the Boston area were recently interviewed about what hope they would offer to people at Christmas during these difficult times. Not a single one of them mentioned the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remind me again : what do we need clergymen for?
      Not worth the space they take up.

  5. Bravo, Carl. Cupich’s science-free “moral imperative” is far more than “flawed and problematic” though. It is the authoritarian trumpet blast of the counterfeit globalist Bergoglian Church of this-world materialism and modernism. Intellectual honesty and moral clarity demand that it be seen and called for what it is.

  6. I have to thank Cupich for his wise teaching on matters of conscience when it comes to divorce and remarriage sans annulment and on matters of a homosexual lifestyle.

    Now, I can be confident that my conscience-inspired refusal of these vaccines, because they lack evidence of safety and efficacy, has been a morally sound one. Thank you, Cardinal Cupich.

  7. Obviously the same probative discernment on matters of theology is rendered to matters of science during the Bergoglian captivity. All that matters to the ecclesiastical powers is to be regarded as entirely woke and with it. Critical faithful reflection has no place in the Bergoglian/Jesuit new paradigm. They just want a seat at the table with the elites while oblivious to the fact they are regarded as a trophy date by the demonic lords of the new world order. When the episcopate proves useless they will be consigned to the gutter they themselves have actually chosen for themselves.

  8. Excellent
    The church has more concern to get people injected than it does to see them baptized
    And the church has done more than most to promote the injection and associated policies

  9. Would that we had cardinals to teach, in black and white: “Dedicating one’s Baptismal life to its Godly end is a moral imperative. Living as Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterial Deposit of the Catholic Faith have taught for two millennia is the moral imperative”.

    Further: “Controlling the contagion of sin is a moral imperative. Following the commandments and receiving the sacraments are moral imperatives. Living the life as Christ and His Church have taught for millennia helps everyone to fulfill the religious principle of first loving God, and then loving neighbor as oneself.”

    Instead, we have Church hierarchy teaching on “The World.”

  10. Wishing Mr. Olson, Fr. Fessio, and All Staff at CWR a very Merry Christmas! May you have many blessed and happy days all throughout the Season.

    Thank you for all the good work you do for the faith and the faithful.

  11. Too late. This article under the guise of moral reasoning actually carries on and comes along the line of the partisan ideological promotion of vaccine resistance and scepticism. Trump has now endorsed the vaccine.

  12. “[I]f you decide the shots are for you, I have no interest in stopping you or making any moral judgments about your choice. But declaring that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a “moral imperative” is a bridge too far.”

    Sound wisdom said well.

  13. Why do people insist on calling these experimental mRNA gene therapy injections vaccines? The snakeoil salesman CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, has finally admitted that they are not.

    • Great Question — One that intelligent human beings need to Ponder — Have been an , RN for over 60 years and — for 2 years now, have been searching for the TRUTH of the matter. Prayers!

  14. Mary said No. RNA, by Abba’s fiat, is always AGCU.

    Anyone can accuse another of cultism, about anything, at any time. Even if someone does his own years of research, prays for the grace of discernment, and listens carefully to Heaven! The bearer of truth can always be willed by others who resist, not to escape the crime of “cultist!” Truth bears a crown of thorns.
    And, a judgment is a mirror. If you accuse anyone of cultism, you are already yourself a cultist.

    After 24 months of research, which has included the history of vaccination to the basic biology of genetics, I came to the end of personal search for adequate informed consent listening to the Roman Catholic Dr Alexandra Henrion-Caude explain what RNA is everywhere made, in the human body. In these long complex strings of genetic information/direction there are only and always just four repeating ingredients: Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), and Uridine (or Uracil, U). Thats how Abba set it up.

    Both P and M both took advantage of the same scientific papers which declared that if one substitutes the nucleotide uridine for the nucleoside pseudo-uridine (Y), in concocting a new synthetic RNA string, the body was found to be unable to recognize it as a foreigner, when artificially introduced. They had the basis to create a vaccine trojan horse.

    Pseudo-uridine is also Abba’s work; but exists in an enigmatic and sporadic position in the genetics of the human body and no biologist yet understands its precise purpose. But God already of course knows. Does He reveal His tiniest truths to anyone? the unpraying? the unchurched, the rationalists, positivists and capitalists who typically do not ask Him for anything?

    As Dr Henrion-Caude explains, the developers took AGCU and forced the novel variation AGCY. The human body has never on earth, ever before greeted this plausible but fictitious combination. If, for the history of human anatomy, RNA has always and only been made of the same recipe, is it not reasonable to believe that the body’s encounter with a synthetic stranger, posing as the usual long RNA chain, will have unexpected and unanticipated effects, with the long term ones even more remote to imagine?

    That right there, was enough. Man has reached the point of tinkering unfearfully with the untinkerable. Everything was rushed in a panic to EUA. Excess haste.

    Before I took the inevitable science research step, it was delivered by three catholic prophets, independently announced, that Mary from Heaven was warning the Church not to take the man-made covid vaccine. The work of the labs were unavoidably risky creative acts not performed in the Divine Will. Further definitive word came again from Heaven through the Angel Gabriel in March 2021.

    Too many have made the error that the Kingdom of God is synonymous with the US government health authorities and the pharmaceutical partners, as if they are automatically the agents of the Empyrean, when they are not, just as Caesar and Rome were not.

    Mary said No. RNA, by Abba’s Fiat, is always AGCU. If one alters His perfection, even by one letter, one is asking for confusion and unnecessary suffering on scales unimaginable. They are already upon us and the vaccine-savior believers, like addicts, refuse to see any confirming aftermath data, committing the sin of willed delusion.

    • I agree with the main argument here – we have no right to mess in God’s toolbox. He alone is the creator. He intervened in time and space to create Man and Woman – Adam and Eve – two specific individuals with newly created Human DNA and RNA (which is basically unzipped DNA). The hubris of man creating a man-made form of RNA and then injecting it into as many as they can coerce to take it, is stunning. God have mercy on us all.

  15. At this point, my own judgments are based on common sense, not religion. An experimental treatment that has resulted in over 15,000 admitted deaths and close to a million adverse reactions and makes no discernible difference in terms of preventing the spread of the disease or attenuating its severity is a failed experiment that should be ended immediately and consigned to the dustbin of history along with tobacco, asbestos, and thalidomide. Continuing the experiment can hardly be considered a “moral imperative.” When do we admit failure instead of doubling down?

    What is becoming apparent to me is that it’s all about eliminating the control group in the experiment because the control group is a severe embarrassment to those behind the tyranny– because the control group is doing just as well as anyone else. The control group proves the “experts” wrong and must be eliminated at all costs, just as Lazarus needed to be killed again because people were believing in Jesus on account of him (John 12:10–11). The “science” there, as it were, pointed to Jesus being who He said He was and so had to be suppressed. The control group in the experiment will also be key in future lawsuits, so that evidence has to be destroyed so that it cannot be presented in court. Without the control group, any assertion at all can be made about the necessity of the treatment, because “it would have been worse otherwise.”

    • Your theory is not reflected in the numbers. Hospitalizations, icu admissions and deaths are primarily among the unvaccinated (i.e. 90% +). That reality is repeated in every country across the globe. I’m sorry, but your position makes no sense. The “control group” (unvaccinated) are dying of covid because, well, they’re unvaccinated.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna7858

      • We don’t know the % of people admitted who are unvaccinated. Actual statistics from several countries indicate a greater number of vaccinated in hospital for Omicron. In the US, the statistics are not clean data. And age variations play a big factor. Even Fauci noted that children are being over-counted because the primary admisison diagnois was not Covid, but they tested positive after admission and were included in statistics for children in hospital with Covid.

        • Places where virtually everyone is vaccinated will reflect that in Covid hospital admissions simply because that’s the overwhelming status of the population at large. There isn’t a significant number of people left who are unvaccinated. Even with the moderating effect of vaccines, the very elderly and those already suffering serious health problems can still succumb to Covid. So yes, in some nations you’ll see the majority of deaths and hospitalizations amongst the vaccinated but the numbers are lower and the vaccinated are pretty much the only population left to gather data from.

          In our area with very low vaccination rates, over 80% of hospital admissions are the unvaccinated.
          So the data will vary accordingly. If most Covid hospital admissions were among the vaccinated in an area like ours with vaccinations at only 37% , that would suggest a serious problem with the vaccines. But that’s not the case.
          You have to look closely at the data and what that actually represents.

      • Andrew,
        I respectfully reply to you that the actual truth of the matter is that many more unvaccinated people have recovered from Covid than died from it. I’m sorry that I don’t have a link for you, but that fact is not being studied because our government doesn’t want to give you the truth. They want to keep you scared. Yes, unvaccinated people do die from Covid. I don’t dispute that, but I also know lots of folks who have recovered. I’m one of them. Also, until September 4, 2021, I was an ICU nurse who cared for many Covid patients. These patients died for 3 reasons primarily: they were over 70 years old, had numerous co-morbidities and in almost every case, I’d say at least 90%, had NO treatment whatsoever until they were hospitalized and already having severe, life-threatening symptoms. By then it was too late to save the majority of these patients. I left my job because I couldn’t live with my conscience knowing how we were pushing vaccines on people instead of treating them earlier and saving their lives.

  16. I don’t care who on earth promotes these “vaccines,” because my conscience tells me that there is no statute of limitations on murder, which is what abortion commits. Any cooperation with murder (no matter how “remote” it may be termed to be) is immoral. For me, the moral imperative is to not be “vaccinated,” because of this immoral connection.

  17. There is a kind of caricature of civil society that would say, “moralistic, legalistic, non-dialoguing religiosity” and other things like that, distracting from a true civil society discourse.

    Imagine for example, that the COVID disease was produced by deliberate release of gain-of-function engineering; but, as it turns out, the microbe can be defeated by general medicine -vaccine redundancy. What then needs to happen?

    There has to be a dissemination of medical knowledge, obviously. But then there has to be some policing work that has to happen also; because undetected transgressors will be returning to the drawing board.

    In that phase they have to be identified and removed while new forms of accountability and control upon labs and experimentation are set into motion by others.

    • In the labs and corridors of bio-science changes have to be made to positions in leadership, underling and lobbying levels. There is an inter-nation dimensionality with it that has to be addressed also.

      And there has to be a strengthening of accountability.

      I have suggested elsewhere in CWR there could be a 10-year paradigm at work -the typical planned-period, usually informal or mixed formal-and-informal- of an officiating bureaucracy. This needs to be broken up with minimum delay because in the present instance, the “pandemic group” may have longer-range type mission and sequel.

      People including science specialists who are still arguing about vaccine efficacy, boosters, testing, variants, “common cold interaction risk”, etc., are merely playing out the scenarios assigned in the paradigm. The usual indicator is the blinkered persistent exclusion of basic medicine.

      Hence, Fauci’s latest, the typical arbitrary nonsense: asymptomatic testing.

      The other comment I would make is that if Trump were still President, by now the pressure would have been very high for the removal of Fauci; and I wonder how constructively and decisively Trump would have handled it.

  18. What would you say to the fact that the vast majority of people in hospital and icu are unvaccinated (remember they make up the minority of the population)? Thus creating a backlog that prevents people from getting life saving medical treatment like cancer surgery? They’ve also cost the health system billions (get ready for your premiums to rise). In many places (including the USA) the huge amount of unvaccinated in hospital/icu are pushing the health care system to the brink of collapse. Doctor and nurse burnout is a real problem. This is all preventable. The unvaccinated are harming the common good. That is why there is a moral imperative to get vaccinated. If they want to be all libertarian about it then the unvaccinated should be consistent and pay the FULL amount for their health care.

    PS: For my fellow pro-lifers who don’t want to be vaccinated remember both the Vatican and the Eastern Orthodox bishops have said the vaccines are morally licit. Heck, even the SSPX has said they can be taken in good conscience.

    • I’d be leary of citing “the numbers” without independent corroboration. Reports from the UK, Israel, and other nations demonstrate that, contrary to most U.S. reports, those who have been injected constitute the majority of serious cases.

      As for moral liceity, you are wrong in stating that these products are considered “morally licit”. In fact it is acknowledged that to take them is to cooperate with evil, albeit only “remotely”. And how many were fully informed of the depravity of the evil involved before judging the taking of these products to be morally defensible? I suspect most thought only a single abortion was involved. As we have learned the pharma industry has tried to hide the endemic nature of its involvement in tainted research. There have been countless abortions, undertaken with the active collaboration with researchers, of abortions done in the most cruel and torturous manner.

      When people of good will are fully informed, they will be aghast. At least they should be.

      • Count yesterday in Queensland Australia.

        11 Deaths from Covid.

        1 – Unvaccinated
        2- Triple Vaccinated (with booster shot)
        8 – Double Vaccinated.

    • If, as you say, COVID patients (whether vaxxed or not) are jamming the hospitals, taking the whole system to the brink of collapse and inflicting severe combat fatigue on medical personnel, then why is there no talk of establishing emergency field hospitals again? This seems a strange contradiction.

  19. Andrew, if I didn’t reply to you it would not be the best thing, because the discussion in CWR is not new and not replying would be to exclude you from it.

    There are many general medicine treatments for COVID sickness that help avoid hospitalization even for vulnerable people. Only some doctors are following the leads. Your hospitalization figures would have to be discounted substantially.

    Even as the vaccination gambit approaches the thresholds of redundancy, they have to keep up the propaganda to cash in where they can on what’s left.

    I invite you to peruse LIFESITE NEWS to get a feel for the range of information that is available.

  20. My conscience tells me that taking these vaccines is an implied endorsement of cells plundered from an aborted little girl being used for the “benefit ” of man. I’d rather die with a clear conscience than endorse abortion.

  21. “making universal vaccination a moral imperative.”

    reminds me of then Cardinal Dolan’s “..the Church has been advocating for socialized medicine for a hundred years” PSA’s that popped up in parish bulletin in NYC when congress was preparing to “pass the [obamacare] bill so we can see what’s in it].

    no thank you, Caradinals.

    I suppose I should finish the article before I sound off…

    (pardon if duped. website a bit wonky at the moment).

    • Socialized medicine is awesome. That’s why almost every G8 country has it. Not having it is also why the USA lags far behind all of its first world peers in terms of overall health and life expectancy. For example, if you travel from Michigan (about a 10 minute drive) over a bridge to Ontario Canada your average life span increases by almost half a decade. Americans have the same average life span as Panama.

      PS: Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the USA. No one on the planet wants your system. No one.

      • No one? Really?

        I lived in Canada for two years (1989-91) and had some experiences with the healthcare system there. I was not impressed.

        Not that the American system is perfect, or even close. A big issue is how messed up the insurance system is, and has been for a long time.

        Saying that Canadians live longer (about 4 years) on average because of the healthcare system is laughable. The leading causes of death in the U.S. are heart and lung disease, strokes, cancer, etc., many of which are directly the result of bad diet, lack of exercise, too much tobacco and alcohol, etc.

        • Carl – Canada does out rank the USA in health care ratings. Canada also out performs America in every health metric (check out the CIA World Fact Book). That’s an objective fact. But the issue isn’t about Canadian vs American health care. It’s about socialized medicine. The top 10 medical systems and countries with the highest health outcomes all have some form of socialized medicine. I feel bad for Americans, they are brainwashed from birth to think their system is the best and it is objectively not. Not even close.

          • The American system is basically socialized–the government pays for a large part of the system via Medicare and Medicaid. There are volumes of legal and regulatory requirements that doctors and hospitals must adhere to in order to “practice” medicine.

          • Andrew,
            I have cousins in Canada who truly appreciate their healthcare system, but we need to remember that Canada is one of only a very few countries in the world that have absolutely no regulations on feticides. Nada.
            Additionally, I’d recommend considering Canadian laws on assisted suicide & what happens to Christian hospices who refuse to cooperate in having their residents killed off in that manner.

          • Then why does Canada routinely send patients to the United States for care that they cannot get at home, while the reverse is not true?

  22. One of the Best analysis of a Non Moral issue that some of our Clergy who are not Omniscient — have turned into an ABSOLUTE. C.S. Lewis said it so well, when He said that a Paterna Society would be Ideal — But that NO MORTAL was Good enough. God gave us the ABSOLUTES, and Jesus sent out the Apostles to announce the Good News. Good NEWS is Proclaimed in Scripture, “Remember to Keep Holy the Lords day.

  23. Mr Olsen, In peddling the claptrap in this article I assume that you, in conscience, accept full responsibility for any deaths or long term disability in those influenced by your writing to reject vaccination and subsequently contract Covid or pass it on to others. You are at least 3500 years behind – the ancient Israelis understood at least some basic principles of disease control as you clearly do not. Leave the Medicine to the doctors not the conspiracy theorists.

    • In view of the fact that two years of masking, lockdowns and social distancing, and nearly a year of vaccinations have all completely failed to stop or even slow the epidemic, I find no “claptrap” in this above article. Rather it appears to be a very fair, balanced, moderate and logical discussion of the issue. On the other hand, you appear to exhibit an obsessive, uncritical and religious-cult-like acceptance of the Received Dogma of the COVID 19 movement, along with a refusal to even attempt to refute the author’s very valid points.

    • Right. I’ll follow Fauci and BigPharma right of the cliff. No questions asked. Sorry, not sorry, not a lab rat for the rush job vaccine manufacturers.

  24. Well yes simply because virtually everyone in the UK and Israel have been vaccinated. So of course the vaccinated will make up the majority of hospitalizations. Some parts of the UK are over 90% vaccinated.
    My brother who lives in the UK has been fully vaccinated, whatever that means these days, yet he’s managed to catch Covid twice since then. Thankfully his symptoms were mild, moderated by the vaccine, but if he’d been quite elderly or already suffering poor health he might have been one of those statistics you mentioned. Even with vaccines, those who are in frail health or suffering chronic illness may still succumb.

    • Cleary the vaccines don’t work then. Can you imagine if this was Smallpox or Polio?
      .
      No one takes a vaccine to limit symptoms; they take it to prevent the disease. Why people put up with the Flu shot I don’t get since a lot of people I know who take it get sick anyway.

      • The Covid vaccine differs from the smallpox & polio vaccines. It’s a whole different thing.
        Moderating symptoms is a good outcome. Eliminating the infection itself would be better but that’s not how it works. I think originally public health officials could have been clearer about this but so much of Covid’s been a mystery.
        From what I’ve been told, flu vaccines moderate symptoms also. They’re not 100 percent effective but better than nothing for most people.
        Until Covid became politicized I knew virtually no conservatives who were opposed to vaccines for ethical or health reasons. It was pretty much the alternative health/conspiracy theory folks opposing vaccinations. I tried hard to spread the word over 25 years ago that the rubella vaccine was morally compromised due to its fetal tissue connection, but few would listen back then.
        I suppose the one good thing Covid has brought about is the greater awareness of the fetal cell lines & tissues used in most pharmaceutical manufacturing & research.

        • I am not sure how we will ever know for certain if the various covid vax options actually do anything–could it be that the vaccinated people simply got less lethal versions the virus?
          .
          In any event, the flu vaccine has never been pushed like this one. In fact, up until these mRNA vax, no one I knew (including within the school system or doctor’s office) really cared what I did or what vaccines I had my children take, or on what time line. Just fill out the exemption paperwork, sign it, file it, forget about it.
          .

          • Yes, I never had any trouble in asking for & receiving religious exemptions for the rubella & varicella vaccines. Everyone we worked with at the local health dept. was extremely gracious & helpful. They never tried to pressure me to have my children vaccinated & were able to get us separate doses of the mumps & red measles vaccines as an alternative to the MMR. Sadly, Merck no longer offers that option.
            There was a good article recently in the National Catholic Register about the immunity issue & vaccines. It points out that the layperson’s understanding of what immunity consists of & the medical view on that are two different things.

  25. Yes, there is the moral obligation to vaccinate against Covid. This is not the time to unfurl the American individualist banner. For the disease is colletive -a pandemic, afterall- and the response requisite need be collective. It is time to freely exercise -caritas-. By doing so, not necessarily are you in any manner furthering Papa Bergoglio’s call for compassion towards all, irrespective of their nationality, colour, socio-economic condition, religion, secular ideology, sex, and sexual preference. You are not necessarily joining him and his misguided followers, nor are you abandoning your self-righteousness -be it Thomist, Calvinist, or simply American- nor your lucid and theologically learned understanding of right and wrong and of soteriology. Simply put, by being cordially charitable and submitting to vaccination against the dread disease, you are doing it to keep Christ’s command to all of us to love one other, even our enemies. And you may actually be helping yourself to avoid Covid. Just do it, please.

    • “Simply put, by being cordially charitable and submitting to vaccination against the dread disease, you are doing it to keep Christ’s command to all of us to love one other, even our enemies.”

      You’re making a lot of assumptions about moral theology, ethics, Christ’s commands, and, well, the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and researching these various matters, and I am making my decision is good conscience, with proper prudence, and in complete accord with the teachings of the Church. Making vague, sentimental appeals that apparently rely on blind trust is not going to sway me. Quite the contrary.

      And, by the way, if you really think my decision is based on some sort of American individualism, you really don’t know anything about me, nor have you really paid attention to my writing. And considering that I’ve been writing for nearly a quarter century, that’s a problem.

    • We should just assume, then, that those 9,000 deaths reported to VAERS among people receiving the vaccine in the United States, many within hours, a few days or a couple of weeks of the injection, have absolutely nothing to do with the vaccine? The popular spin is that “this does not imply causation.” But would you drink a beverage after someone has told you, “we are not convinced that this will kill you”? I would not. Instead, I want assurance that “this will not harm you. It is not dangerous.” Saying that causation has not been proved in that shockingly high number of 9,000 is not the same as saying the vaccine did not cause the deaths. I find it impossible to believe that such a high number of deaths following vaccination in the United States alone could possibly be statistically normal. For this, and other reasons, I refuse to take the vaccine.

  26. Hey, Guess what!! There are many countries other than America on this planet. Many of them have far superior healthcare delivery systems. When it comes to human life and its protection (something vaccines are well demonstrated to provide – think of smallpox, polio, German measles, diphtheria and many other killer diseases), however, America has a number of distinguishing features. For example, it permits the killing of perfectly healthy human beings in their perfectly healthy mothers’ wombs in greater numbers per head of population than in any other country, its citizens shoot each other on a regular basis, its children are scanned by metal detectors on entering their schools to detect lethal weapons and it has a poverty rate in excess of most other, if not all, Western democracies despite its great wealth. Its government provides vast amounts of tax-payers money in promoting and funding abortion in the third world. If you want to speak of “moral imperatives” in the matter of human life and what threatens it you have plenty to keep you engaged for many years

  27. Larry – That’s what happens when a society is committed to providing health care to ALL not some. Imagine a country so committed to its citizens’ health that, when needed, they will send that person to another country to get the care they need at no cost to the individual.

    OR

    Not give you good care because of substandard insurance or bury you in medical debt.

    Look at the world health system ratings. USA does not rank well.

    • “Imagine a country so committed to its citizens’ health that, when needed, they will send that person to another country to get the care they need at no cost to the individual.” Andrew, that all depends on there BEING another country they can send their sickest people TO. What if we weren’t here? Or what if our health care system were to collapse and be unable to take foreigners? Or what if we decided not to admit to the U.S. sick foreigners in search of treatment? (In case you didn’t know, Canada does not take immigrants who have a disability requiring medical treatment. They can’t afford the additional expense. It says so on the Canadian embassy web page.) You tout the Canadian system as so wonderful because they care for everyone. But they DON’T care for everyone! Their system is so cash-strapped that they can’t treat many of their sickest citizens–or at least they can’t treat them in a timely manner. The Canadian system depends on the U.S. taking the overflow of patients they can’t handle at home. But we aren’t sending patients to Canada! It’s a one-way street. I’ve also read that Ontario routinely sends brain-trauma patients to Michigan. The Canadian system can’t pull its own weight. It needs our help.

      • Anecdotal evidence re Canada’s health care: Over ten years ago, during a 3-month work stint in Toronto, I awoke to a horrendously scary-looking sore rash covering face, neck, upper chest. Without the means to procure a primary care physician (not being willing to wait for three weeks for an appointment), I visited the ER of the local hospital, downtown Toronto. After a SIX-hour wait, an MD took a glance, but didn’t offer a diagnosis or cause for which I pleaded. She gave a prescription for steroids and sent me home. The bill? $800, with liability waived. The doc did give the name/address of a primary care physician in case I would need follow-up.

        [OTOH, restaurants in Toronto reflect diverse ethnicities and are top notch. As is the UT and its libraries.]

      • Larry – 1 in 4 Americans skip medical treatment because of cost.

        Medical dept in your country is the leading cause of bankruptcy. I bet a huge chunk of the people reading this site have medical debt.

        Over a million Americans a year leave your country to seek medical care abroad.

        Sorry friend but you’re delusional. It’s not normal to not be able to afford health care or be in medical debt.

        Even though the Canadian system does outrank the US by every metric, I don’t think you should adopt it. Look to the best systems and adopt those (btw they are socialized).

        https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/03/11/nearly-1-in-4-americans-are-skipping-medical-care-because-of-the-cost.html

        https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/07/americans-healthcare-medical-costs

        https://www.businessinsider.com/more-than-a-million-americans-will-leave-us-for-medical-care-this-year-2016-8

        • The Canadian system would be in desperate trouble were it not for the American system taking those whom the Canadian system cannot treat because of its own inadequacies. I never said the American system was perfect or was the best possible system achievable by human effort.

  28. The effectiveness of the Covid Vaccines are limited at best according to most studies, they have shown to have serious side effects in at least a small number of people, and there are genuine ethical concerns in how they were developed. As such, the draconian Gestapo tactics adopted by many world governments in order to coerce and bully their citizens into taking the vaccine are grossly disproportionate and unjustified.

    I for one will never put something in my body with a gun to my head.

  29. If Dr. Fauci has offended State law and can be brought up before a State jury ahead of any Federal action, it should be done. This would apply to all of the “vaccine brigade”. Once a strong case is established the Feds will be forced to mitigate. It is not merely about cutting pecuniary risks. Lives have to be saved and sound positive laws and rights have to be edified.

  30. Vaccines, like masks, are not only used to protect one’s own body, but to protect others, and to help the entire world get past this horrible pandemic. The unvaccinated help the virus to continue to mutate in ways that make it harder for all of us to return to normal. To better understand this as a moral obligation, it might help to read this Jan. 10, 2022 address of Pope Francis
    https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2022/january/documents/20220110-corpo-diplomatico.html
    especially this part:
    “Each of us has a responsibility to care for ourself and our health, and this translates into respect for the health of those around us. Health care is a moral obligation. Sadly, we are finding increasingly that we live in a world of strong ideological divides. Frequently people let themselves be influenced by the ideology of the moment, often bolstered by baseless information or poorly documented facts. Every ideological statement severs the bond of human reason with the objective reality of things. The pandemic, on the other hand, urges us to adopt a sort of “reality therapy” that makes us confront the problem head on and adopt suitable remedies to resolve it. Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease.”

    • “Each of us has a responsibility to care for ourself and our health…”

      Agree. That’s why I’m not taking that cussed shot.

      • Christian morality is not only about the self but also about the other, as the Pope continues the quote you selectively cut: “and this translates into respect for the health of those around us.” Jesus put it this way: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39).

        • But where does one draw the line? I don’t have a moral obligation to donate a lung or kidney if I choose not to. I don’t want nor have no need to inject anything into my bloodstream, nor that of my children’s. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am not required to potentially sacrifice my own health for anyone else. We have freedom of conscience. I would never expect anyone else to take the vaccine for me either, because I respect them and understand they must follow their consciences. Francis is not qualified to make health proclamations. He is a religious leader, not a doctor.

        • Georgina, other than the word “Georgina”, you are unidentified to me.

          The evil in the vaccines and their methods, is concluded; all that’s left is for you to give your consent.

          Georgina, do not give your consent to these EVIL vaccines and methods.

          Georgina, do not make a parade of your inclinations to consent.

    • The disease can no longer be “prevented”. What likely should be in mind is, “mitigated”; however, under this survey – mitigation – the vaccines are not “an argument” for excluding general medical therapies. These are effective and make the “reality check” or “reality therapy”, argumentation, well, just, moot.

      If the Holy Father stays in that “reality module” how can he ever do apostolate among those millions who got sick and recovered and have natural immunity; and among those who didn’t get sick but developed natural immunity; and among those who got sick and were treated with general medicine successfully and have natural immunity?

      What he is proposing for himself is a static reality quite lifeless! Nor could he do apostolate with the doctors who practice the general medicine and know it works. Isn’t there a certain respect that we owe these doctors?

      Most of the vaccines are produced from a network that has industrialized products from abortion; and they have industrialized abortion. It could be as bad as – they take the cells from one kidney and keep the baby on life-support; then they take the ears and keep the baby on life-support; then ….. until they kill the mutilated baby.

      That industry needs my consent to accept their evil vaccines. I do not give my consent. Georgina, don’t give your consent.

    • Why is no one talking about the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension–hypertension is a huge risk factor in adverse SC2 outcome), Vit D supplementation (a lot of us, maybe even the majority of us are dificient), exercise (helps to improve lung capacity, reduce inflamation and waist sizes).
      .
      The obese do not respond as well to the vaccines as far a making antibodies go:
      .
      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-021-01016-9?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=commission_junction&utm_campaign=3_nsn6445_deeplink_PID100221046&utm_content=deeplink

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. No, there is not a “moral imperative” to take the vaccines | Newsessentials Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*