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Bishop Ronald Fabbro in a June 2020 video. Diocese of London / Youtube

(Catholic Culture) – In a signed document explaining his “Rationale for a Diocesan Vaccination COVID-19 Policy,” Bishop Ronald Fabbro of London, Ontario, opens with a curious statement about the Church’s role: 

Our Church must be mindful that we are a component of society, unique in our vocation, but similar in operation and exposure as many others. 

Granted, from the perspective of a public-health official — that is, from the outside — the activities of the Church might seem similar to those of other institutions. However from the perspective of the Church — that is, from the inside — there is no comparison. But then, if you read the entire directive, you realize that for all practical purposes, Bishop Fabbro is writing as a public-health official. 

And a combative public-health official at that. “Covid-19 is a clear and present threat to society,” the bishop writes. “It is not imaginary as some suggest…” I have not encountered anyone who thinks the disease is imaginary; that sort of straw-man argument is used only by people over-anxious to drive home their point. The question — as surely the bishop knows — is whether the extreme steps being taken in the name of public health are justified. 

On that question, too, Bishop Fabbro has a clear answer: “We must operate under the premise that the potential for damage caused by Covid-19 means that the common good must prevail over individual rights for society to protect itself.” In the tradition of Catholic social teaching, individual rights are defined in terms of the common good, and vice versa. Individual rights must always be limited by the requirements of the common good. But to say that the common good should “prevail over” individual rights is to betray a strange understanding of what the “common good” actually means. 

“We must operate with the understanding that the vaccinations are both safe and necessary,” the bishop continues. (Have you noticed the prevalence of that formula: “We must”?) Why must “we,” the Church, operate with that understanding? Why not leave questions about the efficacy of vaccination to the scientists and public-health officials? Why should the Church weigh in on the issue? 

“That there may be side effects for some does not negate the general need for these vaccines to be used by the general public,” the bishop continues. What about those people — “some” people — who suffer from the side effects; should their suffering be included in any calculation of the common good? If Bishop Fabbro feels any sympathy for them, he does not show it in this statement. 

Instead Bishop Fabbro proceeds to set a diocesan policy requiring vaccination for all priests, deacons, lay ministers, and staff in the diocese. And the mandate extends even beyond those who work full-time for the church: 

“Visitors to diocesan, parochial and cemetery offices and any independent contractors are also subject to this Policy,” the bishop announces. And then, with the all the delicacy and warmth of a seasoned bureaucrat, he adds: “There is no requirement for the Diocese to accommodate any of these people.” 

Who are these people, who come to diocesan and parish offices with their business? Why, ordinary Catholics. When the bishop refers to the Catholic faithful as “these people,” and sees no reason for the diocese to accommodate them, something has gone profoundly wrong — something that will not be fixed by a vaccine. 

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UPDATE 10/29/2021:

Joe Biden claims Pope Francis said he should continue receiving Holy Communion, despite the president's radical, anti-Catholic support for abortion. Biden asserted that the pontiff “was happy I’m a good Catholic,” and that the president should “keep receiving Communion.”

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to clarify what he told Biden at his private audience in Rome. Biden should be facing formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, but instead we have the perverse situation in which he claims to have the blessing of the pope to sacrilegiously receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Pope Francis must clarify what exactly was said in order to avoid scandal and being complicit in such grave sin. If Joe Biden wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death.

To ensure that this petition reaches Pope Francis, it will also be CC'ed to the Papal Nuncio of the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as to the Chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Indeed, Joe Biden recently proposed a budget which would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, potentially allowing billions of taxpayer dollars to go to the funding of abortion domestically.

So, it is now an indisputable fact that Joe Biden, himself, is forcing abortion on the American public as well as around the world (e.g., Biden's executive order abolishing the Mexico City Policy).

However, since we know that the Church prioritizes abortion as the "pre-eminent" moral issue, and also how the pope has recently reiterated the teaching that abortion is "homicide," we ask the Pope to ensure that Biden's scandalous claim be clarified and his support for abortion be condemned.

This is the prime opportunity for the pope to make it crystal clear to Biden: Promoting abortion is absolutely and utterly incompatible with being in communion with the Church, and that those politicians who publicly and obstinately support abortion effectively put themselves outside communion with the Church, but also merit formal excommunication.

Joe Biden's active and concentrated promotion of abortion since he took office only 9 months ago is a grave scandal to the faithful of the United States, and to Catholics everywhere.

But, perhaps even more scandalous is the USCCB's decision not to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church.

The silence from our American shepherds is deafening.

Therefore, Pope Francis must now intervene to protect both the Holy Eucharist and our preborn brothers and sisters from death, to protect authentic Church teaching from deceitful "Catholics" like Joe Biden, and to protect the faithful from the grievous scandal caused by Biden's claims, action and the intolerable dithering and "dialoging" engaged in by the USCCB.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Biden will meet with Pope Francis to discuss ‘human dignity,’ but abortion left off agenda'

'Biden restores foreign aid to abortion by repealing Mexico City Policy'

'Removing the Hyde Amendment in Biden’s proposed budget will set a precedent'

ORIGINAL PETITION:

Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Pope Francis in Rome in a rapidly approaching audience on October 29th.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to tell Biden that he will face formal excommunication because of his public and obstinate promotion of abortion, and that if he wishes to return to communion with the Church he must immediately and publicly stop and repent from his active support of the culture of death.

To ensure that this petition reaches Pope Francis, it will also be CC'ed to the Papal Nuncio of the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as to the Chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Indeed, Joe Biden recently proposed a budget which would eliminate the Hyde Amendment, potentially allowing billions of taxpayer dollars to go to the funding of abortion domestically.

So, it is now an indisputable fact that Joe Biden, himself, is forcing abortion on the American public as well as around the world (e.g., Biden's executive order abolishing the Mexico City Policy).

But, reports suggest that the pope and Biden are only supposed to speak about COVID and climate change...

However, since we know that the Church prioritizes abortion as the "pre-eminent" moral issue, and also how the pope has recently reiterated the teaching that abortion is "homicide," we ask the Pope to ensure that Biden's scandalous support of abortion become the central focus of their meeting.

This is the prime opportunity for the pope to make it crystal clear to Biden: Promoting abortion is absolutely and utterly incompatible with being in communion with the Church, and that those politicians who publicly and obstinately support abortion effectively put themselves outside communion with the Church, but also merit formal excommunication.

Joe Biden's active and concentrated promotion of abortion since he took office only 9 months ago is a grave scandal to the faithful of the United States, and to Catholics everywhere.

But, perhaps even more scandalous is the USCCB's decision not to directly and publicly address how Biden's radical, public promotion of abortion affects his standing in the Church.

The silence from our American shepherds is deafening.

Therefore, Pope Francis must now intervene to protect our preborn brothers and sisters from death, to protect authentic Church teaching from deceitful "Catholics" like Joe Biden, and to protect the faithful from the grievous scandal caused by Biden's action and the intolerable dithering and "dialoging" engaged in by the USCCB.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Biden will meet with Pope Francis to discuss ‘human dignity,’ but abortion left off agenda' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-will-meet-with-pope-francis-to-discuss-human-dignity-abortion-left-off-agenda/

'Biden restores foreign aid to abortion by repealing Mexico City Policy' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-restores-foreign-aid-to-abortion-with-repeal-of-mexico-city-policy/

'Removing the Hyde Amendment in Biden’s proposed budget will set a precedent' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/removing-the-hyde-amendment-in-bidens-proposed-budget-will-set-a-precedent/

**Photo Credit: CBSN / YouTube

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“‘Mandatory’ in this context does not mean employees must get a vaccine,” the bishop assures us. Which would be reassuring, except that he follows up by saying that those who are not vaccinated cannot work, and will not be paid. They aren’t required to take the vaccine; they are only required to take the vaccine if they want to keep their jobs — or, in the case of clergy, to continue active ministry. 

Nowhere in his policy statement does Bishop Fabbro admit the possibility that a Catholic (or anyone else) could have valid moral reasons for declining the vaccine. Nowhere does he mention the 2020 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which states that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation, and that therefore, it must be voluntary.” Nowhere does he mention the Vatican’s consistent advice that, even if one is obliged by necessity to take a vaccine produced using fetal tissues, one should lodge an objection and press for an ethical alternative. 

“It is the position of the Diocese that receiving a vaccine is not contrary to the law of the Church, nor does it infringe any canon law,” the bishop writes, in his only reference to the morality of vaccination. Yes, but it is quite a leap from saying that something is not forbidden by the Church to announcing that it is required by the Church, at least in the London diocese. 

While Catholic employees should not bother to make a moral argument against vaccination, Bishop Fabbro leaves the door slightly ajar for others. “Non-Catholic employees who seek exemptions for religious reasons must outline these in writing for consideration by the Bishop’s Designate.” Yeah, and good luck with that. 

Reprinted with permission from Catholic Culture 

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