YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — A newly installed Ohio bishop has issued a warning letter to his priests, banning them from speaking against the abortion-tainted COVID-19 vaccines or government health mandates.
Bishop David Bonnar of the diocese of Youngstown, Ohio has threatened to remove their faculties if they do.
The bishop issued his letter last Wednesday, complaining that priests in his diocese have been condemning the COVID vaccines from the pulpit, which he described as “an abuse.”
“Sadly, it has been brought to my attention that some of our preachers have been using the pulpit and homily time to speak about the vaccine … I want to state unequivocally that I will no longer condone abuses in this area,” he wrote.
Bonnar went as far as threatening to remove the preaching faculties of priests who condemn the vaccines. All the current COVID vaccines in use in the USA were developed or tested using cell-lines derived from aborted infants. Meanwhile, millions of injuries and thousands of deaths following use of the vaccines has been reported to such watchdogs as the USA’s own VAERS report. Nevertheless, Pope Francis is a firm supporter of the COVID inoculations and has even characterized submitting to the syringe as “an act of love.”
“If I am made aware that any clergy is using the pulpit to promote political opinions and denouncing current Church teaching [sic], I will have no other recourse than to revoke their faculty to preach,” he said.
What Bonnar referred to as “current Church teaching” was Pope Francis’ and other leading clergy’s personal endorsement of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“I want to remind you that the Holy Father, the USCCB, and the Ohio Bishops have endorsed the vaccines for the common good,” the bishop wrote.
To stress his point even further, Bonnar referred to Pope Francis’s most recent push to encourage Catholics to get vaccinated in which the Pontiff described health care as a “moral obligation.”
“Recently our Holy Father noted that the vaccine is a moral obligation for Catholics,” Bonnar said.
The Bishop of Youngstown added that though he would not issue a mandate, like bishops have done in other dioceses, he “strongly encourage[s] everyone to get vaccinated.”
In his letter, Bonnar ignored the important moral issues raised by many Catholics, including high-ranking clergymen, on the question of the COVID-19 vaccines. The use of cell lines derived from aborted infants to develop or test products is a practice condemned by the Catholic Church.
Bishop Bonnar, who served as a priest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the tenures of Cardinal Donald Wuerl and then Bishop David Zubik, was installed as Bishop of Youngstown in January, 2021.
Some Catholic prelates have explicitly condemned the vaccines. During a powerful address at the virtual Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke stated that “it is never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of cell lines of aborted fetuses” and that “vaccination itself cannot be imposed in a totalitarian manner on citizens.”
Other prominent Church figures such as Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas, Bishop Schneider the auxiliary bishop of Astana (now Nur-sultan) in Kazakhstan, and Archbishop Carlo Mario Viganò, a former Nuncio to the United States, have all condemned the COVID jabs.
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.