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Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops ConferenceArchdiocese of Brisbane/YouTube screenshot

CANBERRA, Australia (LifeSiteNews) — Members of the Australian Catholic hierarchy reportedly stopped a group of priests from issuing a “divisive” public statement protesting the government’s severe COVID-19 restrictions.

The “Catholic Priests of Australia” intended to release a statement September 22 in response to “Certain Aspects of the Covid-19 Crisis.” The initiative had gained 75 signatures by the time it was due to be first published, and a website was set to go live at midday September 22.

While noting their duty as priests, to assist the relevant authorities to limit the spread of infection, the clergy noted that “in any crisis a legitimate and proportionate response cannot be at the cost of human rights, which are not conferred by the State but rather bestowed by the Creator, and therefore constitute the inalienable foundation of human dignity.” They presented eleven key points seeking to address the “spiritual emergency” of the COVID-era, and argued against COVID passports, mandatory vaccines and restrictions on the Church’s public worship.

LifeSiteNews had obtained a copy of the statement and was due to report on it as it was released, but at the last moment was told by one of the priests to hold off from doing so, due to pressure from the bishops in Australia, who had told the priests organizing the statement not to release it.

Prior to the release time of the statement, the website had some content and bore a message saying that it was not yet fully live. Now the site simply states “Domain not claimed.”

Most recently, the Super Flumina Babylonis blog reported that the clergy’s statement was abandoned due to pressure from the Catholic hierarchy in the country.

“On the morning of that day, the morning of the earthquake, one of the prime movers among the priests was called by his bishop to a meeting, which call was sufficient to bring the priest’s initiative to a halt. At the meeting, which took place at 2.00 pm, the bishop directed him to abandon the exercise; there was to be no publication. The reason reportedly given was that the Statement ‘would be divisive’. There can be little doubt the bishop concerned was acting for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Earlier, two others of the six priests [organizing the statement] had been instructed by their bishop to withdraw their names.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, who serves as the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), as well as Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, the vice-president of the ACBC. No response was received by time this article was published.

Opposition from the ACBC to the priests’ statement seems plausible, given that Fisher recently asked his own clergy to “please get vaccinated” for COVID-19, while simultaneously noting the “morally compromised” nature of the injections.

No human authority may legitimately usurp’ right to medical autonomy

The proposed statement from the priests contained a number of arguments protesting measures taken by the state in light of COVID-19, as the priests used the natural law and the Christian faith to reject mandatory vaccinations, vaccine passports, state surveillance, lockdowns, and impositions on the daily activities of the Church.

Arguing from the “Natural Law” and the “Christian faith,” they protested first against vaccine mandates, which are currently being widely implemented across Australia. “Any person in possession of his intellectual faculties has an inalienable right, within the limits of the moral law, to make individual medical decisions,” read the statement.

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PETITION: Urge the Catholic Church to demand ethical COVID vaccines for Catholics (and, everyone else)!
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Please SIGN this critical petition which urges the Catholic Church to demand that Big Pharma develop, produce and distribute ethical (non-abortion tainted) COVID vaccines for Catholics...and, anyone else who feels morally obliged to refuse abortion-tainted vaccines!

Over the past 10 months, the Catholic Church's teaching office (the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - CDF) has quietly directed the Catholic faithful to protest against the use of aborted babies in the production or testing of available COVID vaccines in the West -- all of which use aborted fetal cell lines in either their development or testing phase.

Sadly, this direction has been so quiet that almost no-one knows about it.

At the same time, however, the Pope (see below), along with many other senior prelates, has been loudly promoting the uptake of these same unethically-produced vaccines amongst the Catholic faithful with only a whisper of protest.

It's clear that there is a major disconnect in the Church between word and action on this major moral issue.

But, instead of being a follower, the Church should be a leader in this area -- demanding the development of ethical vaccines (and, other ethically-developed products) for Catholics.**

In fact, there are already Catholic scientists, like Dr. Alan Moy, who are working with adult stem cells to help achieve ethical alternatives, but they have received "very little interest" from the Church, to-date.

And, to be fair, some individual bishops, like Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver, Canada, have vocally supported non-abortion tainted vaccines, with Archbishop Miller going so far as to donate towards ethical research.

But, it's time to try again and ask Church leaders in the Vatican and its US counterpart, the USCCB (the Catholic bishops' conference in the United States), to be fully consistent in word and deed on the issue of aborted fetal cell lines used to produce vaccines.

Jews have kosher foods and Muslims have halal foods. And, people from both traditions demand such foods - and, their demands are respected. As an example, please click and scroll down here to see all of the halal certificates which McDonald's needs to operate in Saudi Arabia.

So, certainly the Catholic Church could and should loudly demand that pharmaceutical companies develop and produce ethical vaccines for Catholics.

Indeed, the Church could and should ask the faithful to loudly demand ethical vaccines from Big Pharma (by providing phone numbers and email addresses, for example). And, or, the Church could and should commit to sponsoring the development of pro-life pharmaceuticals.

It should be noted here that the Catholic Church teaches that there is NO moral obligation, whatsoever, to accept a vaccine.

But, regrettably, for those who wish to take an ethically-produced COVID vaccine, even the Church's direction is hard to understand, precisely because it is contradictory.

On the one hand, the CDF says that acceptance of an abortion-tainted vaccine constitutes passive/remote material cooperation in the evil of abortion.

On the other hand the CDF also says that the acceptance of abortion-tainted vaccine is morally permissible when no ethically developed and tested vaccine is available.

At the same, however, the CDF paradoxically says that those who accept an unethical vaccine have the moral obligation to protest against it.

But then...there's the recent video of Pope Francis and other senior bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals promoting the COVID vaccines, without protesting against their gravely immoral development and testing, nor calling on Big Pharma to produce an ethical alternative.

So, where the current slate of COVID vaccines is concerned, the Church is apparently saying that you can cooperate with evil if some good may result...if you have no ethical alternative...but, you have to protest the evil...while participating in it.

And, well, the very people who are telling us to protest the unethical vaccines are, themselves, actually promoting them as, "an act of love."

That's confusing!

This kind of contradiction - saying one thing and doing another - is unacceptable because it assumes as normal the situation where only unethical vaccines are available for Catholics.

We are asking the Church to stop this seeming servility towards Big Pharma, and start a loud and active campaign promoting the development and production of ethical vaccines.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging Pope Francis and other Vatican authorities, as well as USCCB authorities, to loudly demand that Big Pharma develop and produce ethical vaccines for Catholics, untainted by abortion.

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'‘Wholly unethical’: US ‘personhood’ org condemns COVID vaccines derived from aborted babies' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wholly-unethical-us-personhood-org-condemns-covid-vaccines-derived-from-aborted-babies/

'In ‘rupture’ with Church’s ‘absolute opposition’ to abortion, Vatican hosting pro-aborts at pro-COVID jab conference' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/in-rupture-with-churchs-absolute-opposition-to-abortion-vatican-hosting-pro-aborts-at-pro-covid-jab-conference/

'‘I will never comply with evil’: Pro-lifer Abby Johnson on abortion-tainted vaccines' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/i-will-never-comply-with-evil-pro-lifer-abby-johnson-on-abortion-tainted-vaccines/

'Canadian archbishop donates to ethical coronavirus vaccine research' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-archbishop-donates-to-ethical-coronavirus-vaccine-research/

**Actually, to be fully consistent with the Church's teaching on this issue, the Catholic Church should demand that Catholics be offered an "ethical" choice for every major product, from food to cosmetics, from to clothing to medicine, and beyond.

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“No human authority may legitimately usurp that right,” continued the priests. Furthermore, “Discrimination against those who choose not to be vaccinated – such as refusing them entry into public areas or most workplaces – is unacceptable.”

Warning that vaccine, or indeed any medical-based “segregation” is “contrary to the Natural Law,” the priests said such a situation would lead to a “medical apartheid.”

State of fear’: Vaccine passport segregation not supported by history

While defending the rights to personal choice regarding the COVID-19 injections, the priests also noted the societal effect which implementing vaccine mandates and passports would have. Declaring that a passport system would lead to “ostracising and alienating from aspects of public life those who decline the vaccine,” they warned also that it would “cause deep resentments in those who accept vaccination only under duress.”

“In both cases, the seeds of serious division would be sown in our society. History tends to discredit those who promote or tolerate such segregation, however high-minded their declared motives might be.”

Vaccine or COVID passports are set to be implemented across Australia’s states and territories, which could be used to regulate entrance into many public areas such as restaurants, gyms, retail stores. Such a scheme was soundly denounced by the group of clergy, who defended the right of anyone who has not been “justly convicted of a crime” to exercise the “right to freedom of movement and association within his own country.”

“The State exists to protect this freedom, not to negate it by forcing people to remain in their homes or to restrict their movements,” declared the priests.

Such a right is “inalienable,” is in keeping with the “social nature” of man, and allows “people to provide for themselves and their families,” added the clergy.

Similarly denounced were the tracking and surveillance in the COVID-era, making up the “present state of fear and sometimes violent repression” which the signatories called “an affront to human dignity.”

“This denial of basic rights threatens the social fabric,” they warned.

Physical needs cannot trump spiritual needs

A chief aspect of the statement was the emphasis on religious freedom and the duty of the state to allow the spiritual needs of its members to be met. Noting that “physical needs and health of the human person cannot be provided for at the cost of their spiritual needs,” the clergy noted particularly how the state has the “obligation not to impede the spiritual needs of the sick and the dying from being met,” as well as those seeking marriages or funerals.

“We require the freedom to go about doing good and preaching everywhere the Word of God,” they continued, defending the autonomy of the Church and Her clergy.

“Civil authorities have the obligation to respect our mission and our right to preach and to hold religious services in public and in private at our discretion. As ambassadors of Christ, we expect this right to be respected by all.”

Referring to the sacraments, the signatories defended the right to “all necessary provisions” for one’s soul, as well as the body “even in the midst of emergencies.” Any prevention from accessing places of worship, is thus “contrary to the rights of citizens…especially when prudent steps can readily be taken to ensure the safety of all.”

The clergy also attacked “segregation in worship” as “contrary to the Gospel.”

Drawing from Scripture, they closed by encouraging people not to be disheartened, but to “have confidence” for “God is with us.”

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