Did so-called "Conservative" Anti-Death Penalty & Abortion-Tainted Vaccines Advocates "Obfuscate... ma[king] it sound as though Pope Benedict himself said it might be Permissible"?
"Might the "Catholic principles" which Brugger teaches be heretical since they apparently come from Brugger's problematic mentor, Germain Grisez?" - The Catholic Monitor
In 2011, Life Issues exposed so-called "conservative" influential "New Natural Law Theorist" William E. May's "obfuscat[ion]" of what Pope Benedict XVI taught about abortion-tainted vaccines. May was a close collaborator of E. Christian Brugger who currently promotes Francis's apparent heretical death penalty teachings. [http://lyceumphilosophy.com/?q=node/97]
Both belong to the Germain Grisez School of Vatican II theology which is called "The New Natural Law Theory" that advocates apparently for abortion-tainted vaccines, Francis's teachings that contradicts past teachings and is judged "heretical" by a Doctor of the Church and seems to promote more abortions as well as more deaths to the most vulnerable COVID patients while claiming to be "pro-life."
One decade ago, Life Issues reported that Brugger's close collaborator May "caus[ed] confusion and consternation for Catholics, where none existed before. Because the writer himself seems confused on Pope Benedict XVI's approved instruction, Dignitas Personae... obfuscat[ing] the intention of this passage by eliminating the entire actual quote that showed a clear reference to those insufficient statements made by ethics committees in the past. In doing so, he made it sound as though Pope Benedict himself said it might be permissible to use the [abortion]cell lines. In fact no such thing was ever said':
Some ethicists have opined in the past that using embryonic or aborted fetal cell lines that are taken from deliberately aborted fetuses or embryos is not morally problematic since the researcher had nothing to do with the initial destruction of innocent human beings.
Perhaps this is why Mr. May chose to ignore the opening sentence in this section of Dignitas Personae that addresses this clearly and concisely:
"In this regard, the criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient. According to this criterion, the use of "biological material" of illicit origin would be ethically permissible provided there is a clear separation between those who, on the one hand, produce, freeze and cause the death of embryos and, on the other, the researchers involved in scientific experimentation."
Whoa - let's stop right there for a moment and examine what the Magisterium just said versus what Mr. May wrote. The Church notes above that the "criterion of independence as it has been formulated by some ethics committees is not sufficient." They then go on to explain that "According to this criterion" - that is the criteria formulated by "some ethics committees" - not the Vatican's criteria - "the use of such "biological material" would be ethically permissible..."
But in an unusual twist, May obfuscates the intention of this passage by eliminating the entire actual quote that showed a clear reference to those insufficient statements made by ethics committees in the past. In doing so, he made it sound as though Pope Benedict himself said it might be permissible to use the cell lines. In fact no such thing was ever said.
No wonder faithful Catholics are confused! May continues to treat the above passage throughout his discourse as though the Vatican is allowing exceptions in certain cases for researchers using these cell lines, when clearly the exact opposite is noted in several places.
In an attempt to further confuse what the Church intended, May again omits key sentences that forbid the use of cell lines by researchers as he quotes sporadically from the instruction.
For example, he fails to mention these two key sentences in Dignitas Personae: (No.35, par 3)
"At times, the objection is raised that the above people of good conscience involved in research would have the duty to oppose actively all the illicit actions that take place in the field of medicine, thus excessively broadening their ethical responsibility. In reality, the duty to avoid cooperation in evil and scandal relates to their ordinary professional activities, which they must pursue in a just manner and by means of which they must give witness to the value of life by their opposition to gravely unjust laws." (emphasis added)
Again, instead of citing this properly, May omits the above and immediately jumps to the very next sentence, in which he again eliminates important criteria. May begins by writing, "In fact, 'there is a duty to refuse....'", as he continues with the text in its entirety from this paragraph.
But Dignitas Personae actually begins a bit differently in that sentence:
"Therefore, it needs to be stated that (emphasis added) there is a duty to refuse to use such "biological material" even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the artificial fertilization or the abortion, or when there was no prior agreement with the centers in which the artificial fertilization took place. This duty springs from the necessity to remove oneself, within the area of one's own research, from a gravely unjust legal situation and to affirm with clarity the value of human life. Therefore, the above-mentioned criterion of independence is necessary, but may be ethically insufficient." (Note: Original text includes above quotes and italics)
It is a slight nuance, between what May wrote and what Dignitas Personae actually stated, but it's an important one. The intention was to show that because of past confusion on whether one could use the cell lines or not, it was necessary to state it clearly, as was finally done in this Church instruction.
Now if May had stopped right there and explained that indeed, these cell lines clearly could not be used by the researchers, it might not have been necessary to cry "foul!" Instead, he then goes on to blur the distinctions Dignitas Personae made between those who use the cell lines in research and those who use vaccines produced from these cell lines, citing a 2009 article by Christian Brugger, Strengths and Weaknesses of Dignitas Personae.
In that article Brugger poses some rather absurd questions regarding the use of these cell lines, where he writes, "Would this apply to an epidemiologist in 2009 doing research on the WI lines, or to vaccines derived from those lines, given that both were taken from electively aborted fetuses? The moral wrongthe grave evil of abortionwas done nearly forty material cooperation in those immoral acts is doubtlessly remote."
Let's break this down because we are talking apples and oranges here.
First, epidemiologists do not use aborted fetal cell lines to conduct research; scientists in the lab might, but epidemiologists gather statistical data and do not conduct biological research.
Second, the Vatican has drawn sharp distinctions between those who conduct research using immoral cell lines and parents who use the vaccines produced from those cell lines in order to protect the health of their children. At no point do they use the fact that the abortions were done several years ago. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Catholic teaching knows that time does not diminish the sin, nor does it lessen the evil of the act that was performed.
Third, the Vatican did not say that, "Current material cooperation in those immoral acts is doubtlessly remote," as Brugger contends.
In fact, here is what the Pontifical Academy for Life stated on cooperation for both researchers and the parents in their 2005 dissertation, Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses:
For Researchers (Pages 5-6)
"In the specific case under examination, there are three categories of people who are involved in the cooperation in evil, evil which is obviously represented by the action of a voluntary abortion performed by others: a) those who prepare the vaccines using human cell lines coming from voluntary abortions; b) those who participate in the mass marketing of such vaccines; c) those who need to use them for health reasons.
Firstly, one must consider morally illicit every form of formal cooperation (sharing the evil intention) in the action of those who have performed a voluntary abortion, which in turn has allowed the retrieval of foetal tissues, required for the preparation of vaccines. Therefore, whoever its intention, to the performance of a voluntary abortion with the aim of producing the above mentioned vaccines, participates, in actuality, in the same moral evil as the person who has performed that abortion. (emphasis added) Such participation would also take place in the case where someone, sharing the intention of the abortion, refrains from denouncing or criticizing this illicit action, although having the moral duty to do so (passive formal cooperation).
In a case where there is no such formal sharing of the immoral intention of the person who has performed the abortion, any form of cooperation would be material, (emphasis added) with the following specifications.
As regards the preparation, distribution and marketing of vaccines produced as a result of the use of biological material whose origin is connected with cells coming from foetuses voluntarily aborted, such a process is stated, as a matter of principle, morally illicit, (emphasis added) because it could contribute in encouraging the performance of other voluntary abortions, with the purpose of the production of such vaccines."
In fact, that last statement is exactly what has happened with new abortions and new fetal cell lines being used for future vaccines. As for the level of cooperation by parents who use the vaccines, the PAFL had a lot more to say about "remote cooperation":
For parents and physicians who use the vaccines from aborted fetal cell lines: (Page 6)
"As regards those who need to use such vaccines for reasons of health, it must be emphasized that, apart from every form of formal cooperation, in general, doctors or parents who resort to the use of these vaccines for their children, in spite of knowing their origin (voluntary abortion), carry out a form of very remote mediate material cooperation, and thus very mild, in the performance of the original act of abortion, and a mediate material cooperation, with regard to the marketing of cells coming from abortions, and immediate, with regard to the marketing of vaccines produced with such cells. The cooperation is therefore more intense on the part of the authorities and national health systems that accept the use of the vaccines. However, in this situation, the aspect of passive cooperation is that which stands out most. It is up to the faithful and citizens of upright conscience (fathers of families, doctors, etc.) to oppose, even by making an objection of conscience, the ever more widespread attacks against life and the "culture of death" which underlies them. From this point of view, the use of vaccines whose production is connected with procured abortion constitutes at least a mediate remote passive material cooperation to the abortion, and an immediate passive material cooperation with regard to their marketing. (emphasis added) Furthermore, on a cultural level, the use of such vaccines contributes in the creation of a generalized social consensus to the operation of the pharmaceutical industries which produce them in an immoral way."
Without question, the PAFL went to great lengths to describe the various levels of cooperation and how those levels are far more complicated than Brugger described for both parents and the researchers using these cell lines. It is both irresponsible and incredible that Brugger and May fail to either understand or acknowledge this.
Yet May continues to distort the facts by quoting from Berger who goes on to assert, "Is a researcher's duty to refuse to work on those materials exceptionless,[sic] even when the refusal could result in harms to the researcher and to his or her family? The text indicates that it is not. It states that "grave reasons may be morally proportionate to justify the use of such 'biological material' (n. 35)"
And while May includes it in his article, Brugger omits the real explanation that Dignitas Personae gave for such criteria. The "grave reasons that may be morally proportionate" are directed toward parents who might need to use the vaccines for their children - not the researchers!
Here is the sentence from Dignitas Personae, which immediately follows why these "grave reasons may be morally proportionate":
"Thus, for example, danger to the health of children could permit parents to use a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin, while keeping in mind that everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask that their healthcare system make other types of vaccines available. Moreover, in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision."
Note, the "responsibility of those who make the decision to use them" applies to the researchers, whereas "those who have no voice in such a decision" are the parents and physicians who use the vaccines produced from cell lines of illicit origin.
Without question, there is no "exception" anywhere in Dignitas Personae for researchers as it states:
"Therefore, it needs to be stated that there is a duty to refuse to use such "biological material" even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who performed the artificial fertilization or the abortion, or when there was no prior agreement with the centers in which the artificial fertilization took place."
While this portion in and of itself is enough to explain the Vatican's position on researchers using these cell lines Brugger and May continue to act very mystified and confused as to what the Church says on using these cell lines, opining, "But the Instruction, following the 2005 Pontifical Academy for Life text, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses," only mentions parents consenting for grave reasons to their children's immunization. Where does this leave morally conscientious researchers?"
Now certainly both May and Brugger read the documents in their entirety didn't they? Then why act as though additional clarity is still needed? But just in case anyone still has any doubts after all that has been presented here from these Vatican documents, this is what "morally conscientious researchers" are left to consider according to the PAFL:
"However, there is another aspect to be considered, and that is the form of passive material cooperation which would be carried out by the producers of these vaccines, if they do not denounce and reject publicly the original immoral act (the voluntary abortion), and if they do not dedicate themselves together to research and promote alternative ways, exempt from moral evil, for the production of vaccines for the same infections. Such passive material cooperation, if it should occur, is equally illicit."(Page 6)
Regardless of Brugger and May's personal opinions, neither the PAFL dissertation nor Dignitas Personae left any wiggle room for the researchers.[https://www.lifeissues.net/writers/vin/vin_12dignitaspersonae.html]
Moreover, Brugger recently has advocated teachings that contradicts past Church teaching that were judged "heretical" by a Doctor of the Church and seems to promote more abortions and more deaths to the most vulnerable COVID patients:
Brugger who supports the Francis teaching against the death penalty "according to Catholic principles" wrote:
""[S]ub- populations may be prioritized... in coronavirus management."
(Aleteia, "Who lives and who dies? Health care rationing at a time of crisis according to Catholic principles," March 28, 2020)
Might the "Catholic principles" which Brugger teaches be heretical since they apparently come from Brugger's problematic mentor, Germain Grisez?
Do these so-called "Catholic principles" have implications on abortion and "prioritizing" medical assistance to the most vulnerable patients with COVID?
But, first is Francis apparently teaching heresy in the following statement according to Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine that contradicts the "teachings of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and previous popes":
“[T]he Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that death penalty is always inadmissible for the Church is attentive to the inviolability and dignity of the person... the Magisterium of the Church believes that perpetual punishment [life imprisonment], which removes the possibility of moral and existential redemption for the benefit of the condemned person and the community, is a form of hidden death penalty.”
Renowned Catholic philosopher Edward Feser explains why the Francis teaching is Orwellian error, contradicts past teachings and is judged "heretical" by a Doctor of the Church:
"[Doctor of the Church] Bellarmine judged it 'heretical' to maintain that Christians cannot in theory apply capital punishment."
"... Pope Francis, by contrast, wants the Catechism to teach that capital punishment ought never to be used... he justifies this change not on prudential grounds, but 'so as to better reflect the development of doctrine.'"
"... Nor does the letter from the CDF [Francis's Vatican doctrine office] explain how the new teaching can be consistent with the teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and previous popes. Merely asserting the new language "develops" rather than "contradicts" past teachings does not make it so. The CDF is not Orwell's Ministry of Truth, and a pope is not Humpty Dumpty, able by fiat to make words mean whatever he wants them to. Slapping the label "development" onto a contradiction doesn't transform it into a non-contradiction."
(First Things, "Pope Francis and Capital Punishment," August 3, 2018)
Moreover, Feser shows that it is "analogous to denying the doctrine that there are three divine Persons":
"Once again the Pope both appears to condemn capital punishment as intrinsically wrong and claims that his remarks are consistent with past teaching. He tries to justify the claim that there is no inconsistency by saying that the Church has always affirmed the dignity of life. But this is analogous to denying the doctrine that there are three divine Persons and then claiming that this is consistent with past teaching, on the grounds that the Church has always affirmed that there is only one God. In fact, the doctrine of the Trinity requires us to say both that there is only one God and that there are three Persons in God. Similarly, consistency with scripture and previous papal teaching requires us to say both that life has dignity but also that an offender can in principle lose the right to his life. To fail to affirm both of these things is precisely to contradict past teaching, not 'develop' it."
Heresy in itself is a great evil, but this apparently erroneous teaching could, also, bring about the evil of promoting more abortions and more deaths to the most vulnerable Coronavirus patients while claiming to be "pro-life."
Dr. Joseph Shaw, as early as October 20, 2017, showed how the apparent Brugger/Francis's death penalty heresy plays into the abortionist game plan with "implications for the pro-life movement [that] would be catastrophic":
"The Pope speaks in this address with a level of technical precision not always
to be found in his remarks. He says:"
'It is per se contrary to the Gospel, because it entails the willful suppression of a
human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator and of which –
ultimately – only God is the true judge and guarantor.'
"This logically implies that the 'willful suppression of life' in self-defence and war is also always and everywhere ruled out."
"This aligns his position with that made famous by the American theologian Prof
Germain Grisez (who, as a matter of fact, wrote an open letter to Pope Francis
protesting about the undermining of the teaching of the Church on marriage, with his longstanding collaborator Prof John Finnis). Grisez argues that warfare is morally possible if we think of soldiers not intending to kill, but intending to incapacitate."
"This raises the question of whether Pope Francis or his collaborators would like at
some point to take advantage of another implication of Grisez’s position. Grisez’s
view is that it is intrinsically wrong to intend to take a life, and that this is always
wrong (even in a just war). On the other hand, it would be permissible to remove anon-viable fetus from the womb, if the intention was not to kill but to remove the fetus from the womb for the sake of the mother’s health. Indeed, to facilitate this removal, it would be permissible to cut the fetus into pieces first.
(See Germain Grisez ‘Towards a consistent Natural-Law ethics of killing’ American Journal of Jurisprudence 15 (1970) p4; cf. Finnis, Boyle, and Grisez Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) p311)"
"This view was condemned by Pope St John Paul II in Evangelium vitae 62 (cf. §§40,
60, 63). It should be emphasised that Grisez and his collaborators accepted the
position of Evangelium vitae as binding on Catholics.
"The condemnation of the death penalty in all circumstance could be part of a
strategy to adopt this understanding of a consistent pro-life ethic [seamless garment]. While it looks at first like a very strong ‘pro-life’ position, it allows so-called ‘therapeutic abortion’ [and allowing the death of the most vulnerable Coronavirus patients?], and
adopting it would enable the Church to make an enormous concession to the
practice of abortion."
"Is should be noted that the great majority of abortions are carried out under the
justification of the ‘health of the mother’, whether physical or mental, and while
Grisez would insist that few could be truly justified on his theory, it would not be easy
for legislators to distinguish which were and which were not. The practical result of
adopting this approach would be the end of the Catholic campaign against legal
abortion, and the resolution of the confrontation between the Church and the world on this most explosive of issues."
"In short, the implications for the pro-life movement would be catastrophic."
(LifeSiteNews interview on the ‘Death Penalty’ address of Pope Francis with Dr.
Joseph Shaw, Oxford professor, October 20, 2017)
Not only is Francis unambiguously professing the material heresy that "the death penalty is inadmissible" which apparently will promote more abortions, but on top of that, he wants to let loose the Ted Bundys to rape and kill or else he is senile or so out of touch with reality that he thinks serial rapist and murderers are miraculously going to stop raping and killing.
[Francis's material heresy:http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2018/08/unambiguously-pope-francis-formally.html?m=1]
Bundy was a serial murderer and rapist who, also, tortured the victims and even engaged in necrophilia with their bodies.
If Ted Bundy had not received the death penalty and was instead given a sentence of life imprisonment would Pope Francis want Bundy set free?
In 2014 and now in 2018 Francis said:
- "[T]he Magisterium of the Church believes that perpetual punishment [life imprisonment], which removes the possibility of moral and existential redemption for the benefit of the condemned person and the community, is a form of hidden death penalty.”
- "A life sentence is just a death penalty in disguise." (edwardfeser.blogspot, "The curious case of Pope Francis and the 'new natural lawyers,'" June 3, 2017)