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EMMITSBURG, Maryland, (LifeSiteNews) – Mount Saint Mary’s University has announced that it is mandating the abortion-tainted COVID-19 experimental injections for its seminarians, as well as all undergraduate students, despite the moral concerns raised by many Catholics, including priests and bishops in the U.S.

In information given on the university website, Mount St. Mary’s announces that it is seeking to achieve “80% immunity” by the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester – a milestone it looks to achieve through the experimental injections and mask-wearing.  

As such, the Catholic liberal arts university, which is home to prominent Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, has decreed that “undergraduate students who will be taking classes at the Emmitsburg campus in Fall 2021 and seminarians are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus in August 2021.” 

Exemptions are apparently considered for “medical or sincerely held religious beliefs,” however the university website states that it is now too late to submit such an exemption request. Catholic Vote noted that forms provided by the university mention July 31 as the deadline for submitting an exemption request.  

The seminarians and undergraduate students at the Emmitsburg campus are also required to submit proof of vaccination before they arrive onto campus, and no later than August 18.

While all seminarians are required to have the injection, “Mount employees” are “strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them.” The term “Mount employees” is somewhat unclear, but suggests that seminary staff as well as university staff would be bound by the vaccine encouragement.  

Meanwhile, “graduate students and undergraduate students in the Continuing Education program who will be taking classes solely at the Frederick campus” are not subject to the mandate. However, they are similarly “strongly encouraged” to receive the injection as soon as possible, and “no later than August 18, 2021.” 

LifeSiteNews contacted the seminary to ask about the effect of the vaccine mandate on the current 155 seminarians, and whether the seminary was concerned about prospective seminarians avoiding the seminary due to the mandate, but did not receive any reply by time of publication. 

The university does provide a question-and-answer section on the vaccine mandates, one of which purports to deal with the Catholic Church’s position on the injections.  

While raising the question of the connection of aborted babies with the injections, the university appeals only to the statements of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a doctrinal note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which argued that it is “morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses,” but only under specific limited circumstances, including the presence of an actual “grave danger.”

Indeed, in the last few days, Colorado’s Catholic bishops have protested against any vaccine mandate, going so far as to draw up a religious exemption letter for Catholics to have signed by their pastors in order to gain an exemption from any mandate of the COVID-19 injection.  

The bishops left the moral decision to each individual, stating that such a personal assessment of “whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects are to be respected unless they contradict authoritative Catholic moral teachings.” If a person discerns according to his conscience, he must follow that, since, as the bishops re-iterated, Catholic teaching holds that “a person is morally required to obey his or her conscience.”

However, in a paper released on December 12, 2020, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, along with co-signers Cardinal Janis Pujats, Bishop Joseph Strickland, and Archbishops Tomash Peta and Jan Pawel Lenga, presented a stronger moral argument against the injections. They expressed the firm conviction that any use of a vaccine tainted with the “unspeakable crime” of abortion “cannot be acceptable for Catholics” under any circumstances. 

The prelates pointed to the contradiction between Catholic doctrine, which teaches that abortion is “a grave moral evil that cries out to heaven for vengeance,” and the commonly found view that abortion-connected vaccines are permitted in “exceptional cases of ‘urgent need.” 

“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 letter read. 

Religious sister, general surgeon, and U.S. Army veteran Sister Deirdre Byrne, M.D. has even described the focus on experimental COVID-19 “vaccines,” developed or tested using aborted fetal tissue, to the exclusion of proven therapeutics, as having “a bit of a diabolic flavor to it.”

With the average age of death from COVID-19 being higher than that of the general population, along with very high survivability rates — better than influenza for those under 70 years of age — one priest has asked earlier this year how there can “even be conceived a justifying cause for using such dangerous or abortion-tainted products.” 

It remains to be seen whether the abortion-tainted vaccine mandate for all seminarians at the university will lead to a decline in vocations.  


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Restore ye to its owners: On the immorality of receiving vaccines derived from abortion  

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