US bishop recommends only vaccinated people distribute Communion
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SAINT CLOUD, Minnesota, May 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In a May 19 letter to priests within the diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Bishop Donald J. Kettler wrote to “strongly encourage that only vaccinated individuals – including priests – distribute Holy Communion.”
In addition to advising a restriction of the administration of Holy Communion to vaccinated priests and laymen, the bishop has promulgated a rule whereby separate queues must be clearly established for those receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and those who wish to take the Eucharist with their fingers, “in the interests of safety.”
Kettler explained that this practice is to be observed following complaints from “individuals who have health and safety concerns about receiving Communion in the hand from Communion ministers who also distribute Communion on the tongue.”
On the contrary, a vast number of medical doctors have petitioned bishops around the world to heed their advice that “one can’t treat giving Holy Communion in the hand as a method much safer than receiving Holy Communion by mouth.” Bans imposed on receiving Communion in the traditional manner in Germany and Austria were met with scientific opposition from a combined 48 medical professionals, 27 writing to the German bishops’ conference and 21 to the Austrian bishops.
In fact, a group of Polish doctors not only defended the safety of receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist on the tongue, even amidst contagion, but raised more epidemiological concerns regarding communicating with one’s hands and standing, warning that “(e)ven if we splash disinfectant on our hands before entering church, we have to remember that during Mass they touch things or places we haven’t disinfected: pews, clothing, glasses, hair and even money (the home of many germs) folded in the [offering basket].”
“From the epidemiological point of view, we must warn that the standing position also encourages the spread of infection as it makes the priest and communicant more vulnerable to mutual infection,” the doctors added.
Kettler’s letter, obtained by LifeSiteNews, includes similarly restrictive instructions for the resumption of diocesan programs, like camps and retreats. “(A)ll staff, volunteers and participants attending these programs” are required by the bishop “to be fully vaccinated as a condition of participation,” the letter reads. According to Kettler, “(a) person is considered ‘fully vaccinated’ two weeks after receiving their final required dose of COVID-19 vaccine.”
Kettler has said that proof of vaccination will be required in order to attend the extra-liturgical events and that those who are not eligible to receive a COVID vaccine, “and those who choose not to be vaccinated, cannot attend these optional programs of our diocese until further notice.”
Kettler will, however, allow “fully vaccinated” participants to interact “without face coverings or physical-distancing.”
Kettler has full trust in the “(s)cientists and health authorities” who have “assured us that the current COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.” So convinced is the bishop of the efficacy of the currently available, experimental vaccines that he claimed “(v)accinations are the best approach for making continued progress against the virus and keeping people as safe as possible from its effects.”
Contrary to Kettler’s assertions, the abortion-tainted vaccines available in the U.S. may not provide any substantial level of protection against the spread of COVID-19, and in fact the vaccines potentially bring their own unique problems. Many hundreds of thousands of individuals have reported dangerous adverse events following the jab, including deafness, blindness, and life-threatening blood clots.
Thousands of deaths, too, have been recorded on the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention-run reporting system for vaccine injuries, known as VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). The latest data from VAERS – recorded between December 14, 2020 and May 7, 2021 – displays a total of 192,954 adverse events, including 4,057 reports of death following a COVID jab.
Notwithstanding the myriad problems arising from experimental vaccines, Kettler made clear that he agrees with Pope Francis that not only is it morally permissible to receive one of the abortion-tainted vaccines, but that he believes it is a moral imperative to take the jab as “part of our Gospel duty to protect life and care for our neighbors.”
The Minnesota prelate stated his agreement “with what the Holy Father said earlier this year,” namely, “I think everyone must take the vaccine; it’s the ethical option because you are playing with your health, life, but also you are playing with the lives of others.”
LifeSiteNews reached out to the Diocese of Saint Cloud, asking how its guidelines on vaccination square with the CDF’s 2020 directive, approved by Pope Francis, which states that vaccination must always remain a voluntary choice, since coercion would be “ethically unacceptable.”
We also asked for clarification on how the diocese intended to confirm the vaccination status of priests and volunteers and if they would respect an individual’s decision to keep their medical records private. Additionally, LifeSite asked whether or not the diocese were aware that, under federal law 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3, experimental vaccines must only be taken voluntarily and without coercion.
After leaving two messages, and with no return call, LifeSiteNews sent its query via email, which also elicited no response before the time of publication.
Contact information for the Diocese of Saint Cloud
Chancery Office – Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler, Bishop,
Colleen Haider, Administrative Assistant to Bishop Kettler
Phone: (320) 251-2340; Fax: (320) 251-0470
Email: [email protected]
P.O. Box 1248
St. Cloud, MN 56302-1248
Communications Office – Joe Towalski, Director
Phone: (320) 251-3022
Email: [email protected]
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