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Father Peter WilliamsHoly Family Parish Springfield/YouTube screenshot

SPRINGFIELD, Vermont (LifeSiteNews) – A Vermont priest fighting suspension for refusing to get vaccinated or obey strict mask and testing requirements explained why he rejected abortion-tainted COVID jabs and took a stand against his diocese’s mandates in a recent interview with LifeSiteNews.

Father Peter Williams, long-time pastor of Holy Family parish in the Diocese of Burlington, VT,  announced in a video this month that his bishop is trying to remove him from his parish because he has not complied with an order requiring clergy to get jabbed or to be tested regularly and wear a mask at all times during pastoral ministry.

Williams told LifeSite that he’s resisted Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne’s directive to stand up for his unvaccinated parishioners who may eventually face similar requirements and stressed his conscience objections to the vaccines because of their links to “appalling” experiments on the unborn.

“I’m just saying that before we rush to accept all of these things, we should be asking ourselves, individually, are they moral? And do they pass the test for me individually?” he said. “And so that when I stand before God, that I haven’t violated my conscience, that I have been informed about what went into the production, the testing, the development, all of that kind of thing.”

At some point of development, all available COVID-19 vaccines relied on cell-lines derived from aborted babies, who were most likely still alive when their tissue was extracted.

“The babies were — and, in some cases, the uterus as well — removed from the woman and, without even puncturing the amniotic sac, placed directly into the refrigerator where it was kept for no more than 24 hours,” biologist Pamela Acker told LifeSite last year. “So these babies were literally placed into the fridge alive and then stored between one and 24 hours until they could be dismembered, basically. And this is right there in the scientific literature.”

Given the unspeakable practices required to develop the abortion-tainted vaccines, Williams said that his decision to refuse COVID vaccination “was not difficult.”

“I said to one of my parishioners, I just want to cry every time I hear about it, or even think about it, which is, in order to procure these, it wasn’t just somebody died,” he said. “No, no, no. They had to do a vivisection. It’s appalling. It’s horrible to my conscience.”

The priest recounted how earlier in his life he had been involved in Red Rose Rescues and peacefully protested by trespassing at abortion centers. “I did that a few times and went to jail for three weeks, or whatever, which is nothing. It’s good to stand up, its good to vote, to do whatever, but compared to these children dying day after day after day?”

“So, making that conscious decision was not difficult,” he attested. “It’s difficult to live with the reality, you know, just to be aware of the reality of what’s happening.”

Williams also explained how he took a public stand against his diocese’s vaccine policy for his parishioners.

After church closures ended, he said, “then all of a sudden the vaccination becomes the issue. And I’m looking and saying, well, the bishop could easily say that if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t go to church.”

He pointed to Luxembourg, where the archbishop last month backed a COVID vaccine pass for Masses. “And he can say that because they’ve already required it in the Vatican, that you have to have a vaccination pass to go into the Vatican,” Fr. Williams said. “They’ve kind of already written the storyline. I’m just waiting for the next chapter.”

“And I’m thinking, I have to stand between this mandate, or mandates in general, and my people, many of whom are fine getting vaccinated, but some of whom are not,” he continued. “And who’s going to stand up for them?”

“What are they going to look at me and say, what can you do? Well, this is what I can do, and I’m going to do it while I can, if it’s the last thing that I do as a priest.”

‘I just won’t give anymore’

Despite data showing that COVID vaccines do not prevent transmission of the virus, Bishop Coyne’s policy singles out unvaccinated priests for mandatory masking and testing, noted Williams, who said that “the way the letter read in my mind was, you get vaccinated or you get punished.”

“What we know is that if once you’ve been vaccinated that you can still get and give the disease, but you’re not asking all the priests to put on masks. It seemed rather arbitrary to me,” he said. “I get to that point where you push and you push and you push, and I’ll give and I’ll give and I’ll give, and then I just won’t give anymore.”

Any Church leaders, Williams cautioned, should be “very, very careful” when mandating abortion-tainted vaccines.

“I would caution them, that if the Lord is saying this to me, I don’t believe that he would say the opposite to somebody else,” he said, “and maybe they would say the same to me, but I would say, if the Lord is saying this to me, for all of those reasons that we’ve discussed, especially the blood of innocents that is so precious to him – so precious to him and so devalued in our world – then I don’t know that you can really call yourself a pro-life person in authority in the Church if you are mandating the vaccine. I don’t, I can’t reconcile.”

“I can’t, with any authority, speak to their conscience or tell them what to do. But I would just caution them to be very, very careful.”

The legal battle between the priest and the Diocese of Burlington is moving forward, Father Williams also told LifeSite. The diocese has already presented its case and he and his canon lawyer are in the process of responding, he said.

Following his January 5 video announcing the situation, there’s been an outpouring of letters from parishioners on his behalf, as well as numerous words of encouragement from other people, including Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, since the video went viral.

“I appreciate people and their support. I appreciate that,” Williams said. “But there is nothing that compares to the consolation that I receive from the Lord when I go to a prayer and I think a lot of people have forgotten that … first and foremost, you’re supposed to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s the foundation of our life.”

“Once you have that and you know how to talk and and listen, sort of back and forth, it doesn’t mean that every day is a good day. Far from it. It means that when you know the Lord is there and is supporting you or has called you to do that, that brings a great peace of mind, even in the midst of have to fight, or whatever you want to say,” he observed, noting the importance of a close relationship with God for any priests fighting similar mandates.

“It’s not that it won’t come from other people, because people are very generous and kind, but that you really needed that depth of consolation that comes from God, who says: ‘This is what I want you to do,’” Williams continued.

“And I don’t say, you know, Lord, why don’t you tell them all to do that? I understand that He called certain ones to do certain things and other ones to do other things, different gifts for different people, you know?”

“So, if it’s something that I’m asked to do, then I will do that,” he said.

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