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Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, in a video message for 2020 'Pride Month'YouTube

LEXINGTON, Kentucky (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-LGBT Catholic bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop John Stowe, ordered at least two of his priests to reveal their COVID-19 injection status, and forbidden priests who haven’t taken the vaccines from ministering to the sick and housebound.

The news was announced at the end of Mass on September 11 in Lexington’s Christ the King Cathedral, celebrated by Bishop Stowe, OFM.

Speaking before Bishop Stowe gave the final blessing, the deacon for the Mass, identified as Tim Weinmann by CNA, stated:

The bishop has asked that Father David and I, Father John – I’m speaking for Father John – make an announcement that we are not vaccinated, so people can decide if they wanted to attend Masses where they were celebrating.

Continuing, the deacon noted that restrictions extended to the Last Rites, or sacraments of the sick, for unvaccinated priests in the whole diocese: “And also the priests, and this has been done throughout the diocese, those priests that are not vaccinated are to follow the COVID protocol in the liturgy and they are not allowed to visit the sick or elderly that are homebound.”

“Fr. John and Fr. David, again, have not been vaccinated,” Weinmann concluded. Fr. John Moriarty is the cathedral rector, while Fr. David Wheeler is one of the parochial vicars.

It is unclear whether clergy across the diocese have been ordered to share their vaccination status or not.

The footage, streamed on the cathedral’s YouTube channel, was also shared on Twitter, where it garnered mixed comments. Some praised the bishop for his supposed “common sense and integrity,” while author and catechist Deacon Nick Donnelly noted that “Bishop John Stowe is strict about using abortion-tainted jabs, not strict at all about upholding doctrine on sodomy.”

Meanwhile Eric Sammons, executive director of Crisis Publications, commented, “Hireling bishops like +Stowe are killing souls far more than any virus is killing bodies.”

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LifeSiteNews contacted the Diocese of Lexington for further comments on Bishop Stowe’s directive, asking about the personal privacy of priests who refuse the injection, and what would happen in the case of a non-vaccinated priest being the only one able to administer the Last Rites to someone dying. LifeSiteNews was not able to reach a spokesman for the diocese by press time.

LifeSiteNews spoke with Dr. Joseph Meaney, President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, about Bishop Stowe’s directives, who noted that “[t]here are very real ethical concerns about respecting medical privacy rights. There are strict federal laws defending the right not to have one’s private medical information shared without consent. It does create an ethical quandary for priests to agree to announce this or not. They can, of course, do so if they wish, but medical ethics would say that they have a choice in the matter.”

Dr. Meaney also commented on the fact that priests have been able to “safely bring the sacraments to patients suffering from COVID in hospitals using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety protocols for administering the sacraments without needing to be vaccinated. This leads one to wonder how it would not be possible to do so for the sick in general?”

“If there is a strong risk of COVID transmission to the fragile or vulnerable, extra safety precautions can be instituted, such as frequent testing, that do not require vaccination,” noted Meaney.

History of promoting abortion-tainted jabs, LGBT ideology

Stowe’s directive, imposing severe restrictions on the priestly ministry of some of his clergy, comes in light of his August 17 directive stipulating that “[e]mployees at the Catholic Center of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment, starting on Sept. 1.”

Priests who took it upon themselves to implement this policy “at the parish level” would have his “support,” added the bishop, before noting that “further mandates may be forthcoming.”

“This is an urgent matter of public health and safety. There is no religious exemption for Catholics to being vaccinated, and Pope Francis has repeatedly called this a moral obligation,” claimed Stowe. “The health care system is now overwhelmed by a crisis caused primarily by those who refuse to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated. This is unacceptable, and our diocese now joins those employers who have already made this basic commitment to the common good a requirement.”

The U.S. healthcare system is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses, with many quitting due to vaccine mandates. The shortage is expected to get worse in light of President Joe Biden’s new federal vaccine mandate.

As numerous Catholic bishops have explained, the moral teaching of the Catholic Church holds that “a person may be required to refuse a medical intervention, including a vaccination, if his or her conscience comes to this judgment.”

Recent documents and statements from the Vatican, the Pontifical Academy for Life, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and modern catechetical teachings note that although the Church allows Catholics to take abortion-tainted vaccines or medicines if no other options are available and the intent is to preserve life, vaccination itself must be voluntary.

Expanding on his views about vaccines, Stowe spoke to dissident Jesuit-run America magazine, describing vaccination as furthering the “common good,” and saying that “the individual reasons for not accepting [vaccinations]—the conspiracy theories and all the other stuff that keeps people from getting the vaccine and even the confusion that’s been put forth by many Catholic sources—is just not a good enough reason to not accept the vaccine for the common good.”

While Stowe is punishing his priests for not taking the abortion-tainted injection, he is in direct opposition to Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, who previously spoke 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.”

Others with due medical competence have come to a similar rejection of the injections, stating even in December that the “pandemic” is effectively “over.” Ex-Pfizer vice president Dr. Michael Yeadon echoed this by saying that vaccines are not needed at all for this virus and more recently warning that it is “entirely possible” vaccine campaigns “will be used for massive-scale depopulation.”

Indeed, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now lists a total of 675,593 reported adverse events following COVID vaccines between December 14, 2020 and September 3, 2021, and a total of 14,506 reports of deaths.

The 55-year-old bishop is also a staunch promoter of LGBT ideology, and only three months ago joined heretical pro-LGBT organization Dignity USA, which rejects Church teaching on several points of faith and morals, and gave a general blessing at the online event, which was in opposition to the Vatican’s declaration in March that same-sex relationships cannot be blessed.

Stowe has a long history of pro-LGBT activity, including issuing a homosexual “pride” “prayer card” insinuating that God approves of homosexuality and transgenderism.

Some months before the event, Stowe once again broke with Catholic doctrine in supporting the Equality Act, which would effectively criminalize Christianity by overriding conscience objections to practices such as committing abortions and transgender surgeries, and denying placement of foster children with same-sex couples.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here. 


On the moral illicitness of the use of vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses


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