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BROOKLYN, New York (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. Michael Panicali, a priest serving at St. Mark’s Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, slammed the abortion-tainted COVID-19 vaccines in an August 22 homily livestreamed on Facebook. 

Affirming authentic Church teaching, Fr. Panicali told parishioners that they are under “no obligation” to receive the abortion-linked coronavirus injection. 

“Our ultimate answer and word is the word of Jesus Christ, who emphasizes that the flesh is important,” Fr. Panicali stated in his homily. 

“The flesh of aborted cells are important and they are not to be put into our body in any way, shape, or form. Do not let anyone confuse that for you,” he added. 

Warning against the widely known risks of the shots, Panicali also stated, “If I were you, I would not touch it [the vaccines] with a 10-foot pole, and I never will because it leads to complications.” 

Those within the clergy that support pushing the vaccine on the faithful, including Pope Francis, often mention that aborted fetal cells are not in the COVID-19 vaccines but merely in the developing and testing of the vaccines.  

Fr. Panicali, in his homily, addressed this reasoning by saying, “My brothers and sisters, you are under absolutely no obligation to take a vaccine that is made, produced, manufactured, tested even in the most remote ways with aborted fetal cells.”  

According to Church teaching, as affirmed by Fr. Tad Pacholzyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, “The Church has been clear that vaccination, as the rule, is not a moral obligation. It is something that needs to be voluntary.” 

Fr. Panicali’s superior — pro-vaccine Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio — referred to the statement as “unfortunate” and said “the issue will be addressed by diocesan officials.” 

“Unfortunately, Father Panicali used a homily to express a personal opinion which is in conflict with the position of the Vatican and the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said the diocese’s statement. 

It has become increasingly common for priests to be reprimanded for upholding the teachings of the Catholic faith, as is what happened in July when Fr. James Altman had his faculties suspended by the Diocese of La Crosse’s Bishop William Callahan. 

“To who are we listening? Are we worshiping God? Are we trusting what God has given us? Our natural immunities, our bodies? Or are we listening to the pseudoscientists, the talking heads, the politicians, the pharmaceutical companies?” asked Fr. Panicali. 

“And do they have our best interest at heart? Or does God have our best interest at heart?”  

LifeSite has reached out to the diocese inquiring what was meant by “the issue will be addressed” but has not yet received a response.