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PHOENIX, Arizona (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic bishop of Phoenix has defended Catholics’ right to refuse the COVID-19 injections, saying that they can do so “in good conscience,” while also supporting those who choose to have the abortion-tainted injections as being able to do so “in good conscience.” 

In a letter to the diocese dated August 27, Bishop Thomas Olmsted weighed in on the issue which is highlighting the division amongst the U.S. Catholic hierarchy – whether Catholics will be supported in refusing the abortion-tainted COVID-19 injections or not – defending the right to refuse such a jab  while keeping a “good conscience.” 

Opening by offering his thanks to the medical staff and public servants who worked “for the common good” during the COVID times, Bishop Olmsted referred back to his December 2020 advice in which he recommend Catholics in the diocese “prayerfully consider” taking one of the experimental injections. 

His advice was in conformity with a much disputed December 2020 note issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declaring “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available…it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.” 

Still supporting this statement, Bishop Olmsted encouraged “each individual” to make a “prayerful consideration” about the decision to take the injection or not.  

“For those who have discerned to receive one, they can be assured that they can do so in good conscience,” he wrote.  

“For those who have discerned not to receive one, they too can do so in good conscience. What is primary for us as individuals is to form our conscience through the teachings of the Church.” 

Olmsted highlighted passage 1778 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which defends the right for an individual to “follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right,” and to do so as “the judgment of his conscience” enables man to “perceive[] and recognize[] the prescriptions of the divine law.” 

He revealed that there had been “many” in the diocese who had asked the clergy for exemption letters for COVID-19 injection mandates, but that “it is employers who grant exemptions, not pastors.”  

“What we as the Church do is assist in forming the conscience and supporting the decision made by a conscience well formed,” continued Olmsted.

“Employers and other institutions may require vaccination, but we support them reviewing and extending exemptions for personal religious reasons of conscience.” 

To this end, Olmsted encouraged “priests, deacons and lay leaders to offer pastoral guidance” to those in the diocese to form their consciences.

Pointing these diocesan leaders to the statements of the CDF, as well as the National Catholic Bioethics Center, the bishop stated that it is “not for us to make medical decisions for others but rather to support the right of faithful Catholics to come to a personal decision with the help of a well-formed conscience.” 

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With the FDA's decision to officially approve the Pfizer COVID jab, calls to vaccinate schoolchildren and more university students will become louder and more insistent.

But, America's children and young people must be protected from unknown future side-effects of these drugs, and parents' rights must be respected!

Please SIGN this urgent petition which demands that COVID vaccine mandates for schools and universities be prohibited in every U.S. state.

This petition will be sent to the leaders of every state legislature and to every governor in the United States, urging them to pass emergency legislation banning vaccine mandates for primary, secondary and university students.

Students simply have the right to be educated without being forced to violate deeply held principles and their own bodily integrity!

But, unfortunately, some private schools, like the Jesuit-run Brophy College Prep School in Phoenix, Arizona, have already mandated the COVID vaccine for their students, in spite of massive parental opposition. If parents or students reject the vaccine, students face intrusive weekly testing and exclusion from extra-curricular activities.

Also, more and more universities have actually started to disenroll unvaccinated students. But, even where that is not happening, not taking the vaccine often subjects students to masking, extra testing and additional administrative obstacles.

And now, with the Pfizer jab approval, Joe Biden's Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is threatening more mandates.

While it is true that the FDA approval for the Pfizer jab only pertains to those over 16 years of age, the pharmaceutical industry and some state actors have been pushing to get approval for pre-teens!

So, it stands to reason that the Federal government will try to impose vaccines on schools, for those 16 and over, as well as on all university students. But, eventually, such mandates could even apply to younger and younger schoolchildren.

That's why state legislatures and governors must fight back against any attempt to coerce school students to take a COVID vaccine against their will!

Science and logic should dictate public health policy. And both say that mandatory vaccination for children and university students is not only unnecessary, but very likely dangerous for the future health of America's youth.

The CDC reports that the rates of death, injury, and hospitalization are very, very low for children and adolescents and that COVID transmission in schools, both from student to staff and between students, is also very low.

And a European CDC study concluded that "no evidence has been found to suggest that children or educational settings are primary drivers of COVID transmission."

So, right now, we know that schoolchildren are at very low risk of becoming very ill as a result of COVID, or of even transmitting the virus.

But, we don't know how a hastily-prepared, unstudied vaccine will affect the health of millions of America's youth in the future.

Gambling with their future, and the future of our nation, should not even be entertained for one second!

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging state legislatures to ban COVID vaccine mandates for schools and universities - both public and private. Urge them to respect parents' rights, informed consent and bodily integrity.

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'Ivy League schools mandate COVID-19 vaccines for fall' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ivy-league-mandates-covid-19-vaccines-for-the-fall/

'FDA approval of Pfizer jab isn’t about our health, it’s about mandating the shots' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/fda-approval-of-pfizer-jab-isnt-about-our-health-its-about-mandating-the-shots

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Growing split in US hierarchy over COVID jab mandates, exemptions

Such words from Olmsted supporting freedom to refuse the injection come in stark contrast to those of Archbishop Jose Gomez, as well as Cardinal Blase Cupich and Bishops Robert McElroy and Gustavo García-Siller, who have strongly protested against their clergy signing exemption letters presented to them by the faithful.  

Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich went so far as to mandate the abortion-tainted injections for all his clergy, a move imitated by six of Puerto Rico’s seven bishops, who announced segregation of the congregation in Mass based on COVID-19 vaccination status, in addition to imposing vaccine mandates for employees and clergy. 

Both the South Dakota and Colorado bishops earlier this month strongly backed conscience objections to COVID-19 injections, with the Colorado bishops encouraging pastors to sign parishioners’ religious exemption requests. Bishop Daniel Fernández of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has issued a similar directive, as has, most recently, Bishop Athansius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, as LifeSiteNews reported.

The bishops of Wisconsin recommended against priests endorsing exemption letters, although they called on employers to honor conscience objections, a message echoed by several other U.S. bishops, like Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New Mexico. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has previously spoken out against vaccines using aborted babies: “it must be clear that it is never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses. The thought of the introduction of such a vaccine into one’s body is rightly abhorrent.”   

The cardinal’s statement was supported by Bishop Schneider earlier this year, when the Kazakhstan-based bishop wrote 

When we use vaccines or medicines which utilize cell lines originating from aborted babies, we physically benefit from the “fruits” of one of the greatest evils of mankind — the cruel genocide of the unborn … The blood of murdered unborn children cries to God from vaccines and medicines which utilize their remains in any manner whatsoever.

As the list of FDA-recognized adverse events has grown from severe anaphylactic reactions to include fatal thrombotic events, the inflammatory heart condition myocarditis, and neurologically disabling diseases like Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and adverse event reports to government include more than 13,000 recorded deaths and more than 17,000 permanent disabilities, any ecclesiastical promotion of the COVID injections would appear to fall under what Father Christopher Paul recently described as “beyond the scope of ecclesiastical competency to determine.” 

Indeed, the requirement of a vaccine to prevent serious disease for those who are not at risk to begin with, is not supported by data from the CDC, which reports an infection survival rate of greater than 99.95% for those under age 50.

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