God Is Not Mocked

God Is Not Mocked

15th Sunday after Pentecost

At the heart of today’s liturgy we have the Gospel recounting the resurrection of the son of the widow of Naim. St Luke describes the scene by telling us that as Jesus approached the town followed by a large crowd, another large crowd was processing out. As the disciples get closer it appears that this is a funeral cortege. Indeed, a young man is being carried to the grave, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. In other words, a woman bereft, abandoned, for the moment supported by the crowd, but soon to be left to herself. When the Lord sees her, St Luke, who is ever keen to portray the humanity of the Saviour, tells us that He was touched with mercy, literally his entrails were moved. How could He not be? As He looks at her, He is reminded of His own Mother, she too a widow, and soon to lose her only Son. The resurrection of the son of the widow of Naim prefigures that of the Lord; it announces it in advance.

In his commentary on this passage, St Augustine tells us that the miracles of Our Lord have a hidden meaning. Anyone can see the prodigy and admire it, just as an illiterate man can see a magnificently adorned manuscript and be in awe, but in order to understand it, you must know how to read. The resurrection of this young man symbolises then the resurrection of the soul from spiritual death. Because of his passions which carry him away to the grave like the carriers of the bier in the Gospel, he is lost and can do nothing to help himself. But if the Lord comes and touches him, he halts the onslaught of the passions and of all evil, and He restores to a new life, giving the wayward sinner back to his Mother, the Holy Catholic Church.

How can we fail to see in this Gospel an eloquent picture of what is taking place at the very moment in our world? Many have been lost to the Wuhan Virus, otherwise known as Covid-19. Many more have been lost to the inept response given to this virus by those who make decisions for the planet. At the moment there is another kind of death being inflicted on numerous souls, and that is the death of conscience. What I am about to say here may strike some as being somewhat political. It is not political; it is pastoral. I speak these words as a Catholic Priest, a Benedictine Monk and as a Doctor in Moral Theology.

First and foremost, let’s recall that the essential reason for the existence of the universe is that souls may be led to eternal life. Eternal salvation is therefore the goal towards which all our efforts must be oriented. We must be good stewards of creation and especially of our own lives, but the Church has never put physical health above the salvation of the soul, nor does she do so today.

100% of those who do not receive the Covid vaccine will die. Of those who do receive the Covid vaccine the percentage of those who die will be… 100% … All of us will die, and we will be judged on our fidelity to God and to our God-given conscience. It is to that conscience that we appeal today, that conscience in which we detect a law which holds us to obedience, always summoning us to love good and avoid evil. “For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes 16).

What is said here is without passing any judgment whatsoever on those who promote the vaccine or have received it themselves. It is not my business to judge or condemn anyone. It is my business to enlighten consciences and to affirm the God-given rights of those who refuse the vaccine. This is a very important question, since at least one Australian State Premier has already stated that he is about to implement a segregation in the population on the grounds of whether or not they have been vaccinated. Sadly also and unbelievably, at least one Australian bishop has evoked the possibility of opening churches only to the vaccinated. We even have some bishops in other countries declaring that there is a moral responsibility to take the vaccine. Let’s be clear. There is no moral responsibility to receive the vaccine. I’m going to explain why.

For there to be such an obligation, a number of conditions would need to be met. Assuming there is a real danger:

1) the vaccine would have to present no ethical objections at all in its development; 2) it would have to be certain in its effectiveness; 3) it would have to be safe beyond doubt; 4) there would have to  be no other options to protect oneself and others against the virus. Now, none of these conditions are met.

The gravest objection to the vaccines currently available, is that they all use in some way stem cells deduced from the organs of an aborted baby who, in order to obtain those organs intact, was dismembered while still alive. In other words we are not talking about human remains that were salvaged from an accident and used when already dead, but about the deliberate killing of an innocent human, in order to steal his/her organs still full of life and use them for research that would produce a vaccine. That is what you call a criminal act of the utmost gravity, and yet perpetrated with the blessing of the governments of so-called civilised countries. All the vaccines currently available are made using and therefore abusing an innocent baby. It is the ultimate and gravest form of child abuse ever, and it is astounding that anyone could think God will actually bless such crimes by allowing them to save humanity. This stain on the origin of the vaccine remains, whatever might be said about the remoteness of cooperation – which we do not reject as a principle properly understood within the corpus of moral reflection of the Church –, it remains that the application of the principle is dependent upon the evaluation of a given situation. That is to say, a prudential judgment is required in order to come to the conclusion of possible remote cooperation. If one reaches that conclusion, one is not free to impose it on others. If anyone believes those conditions are not met, there is a grave obligation in conscience to refuse.

Secondly, leaving aside the unacceptable procedures that were used to produce these vaccines, we are in the presence of a second crime which is that the vaccines have not been properly tested; they are still on trial. This is not a debated point. It is clearly stated on the websites of those who produced them; it is also clearly stated by none less than the Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt who stated just a few months ago as the vaccine was being rolled out: “The world is engaged in the largest clinical trial, the largest global vaccination trial ever”. In other words, the whole world is being treated as an immense laboratory in which you and I are expected to be the Guinea pigs.

A third reason is the danger from the vaccine itself. As of 1 September 2021, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) of the Australian Department of Health affirms on its website that there have been no less than 462 deaths following administration of the Covid-19 vaccines. The same Department of Health reports that the number of deaths from Covid-19 itself is 1,008. In other words, in the few months since the rollout of the vaccines, the vaccine has killed already half as many people as the virus itself in the last 18 months. These numbers speak for themselves.

A fourth reason is that serious caution has been issued by prestigious medical authorities, including Dr. Robert Malone (one of the original developers of mRNA technologies), Dr. Michael Yeadon (former researcher and vice president of Pfizer), Dr. Vladimir Zelenko (who has treated over 6000 Covid patients), and Dr. Luc Montagnier (a Nobel laureate for his discovery of HIV). They all encourage people not to take the vaccine. That alone, for anyone who knows anything about the virtue of prudence and its reliance on docility to people who are eminent for their learning and have everything to lose by saying it, is enough to convince, at the very least, that there is a serious problem.

A fifth reason is that there are numerous effective protocols for treating Covid-19 that use accepted, affordable, commonly-available medicines and supplements which have been demonstrated to be safe. One of them was developed over a year ago by Dr Thomas Borody, who is one of our Australian experts, and who wrote at the time: “We have a therapy that can fight COVID-19. The medications have been around for 50 years, they are cheap, FDA and TGA approved and have an outstanding safety profile. Why are we just waiting around for a vaccine? To save lives we should be using whatever is safe and available right now. We could lead the world in this fight…”. One wonders what happened to that protocol.

What conclusions are we to draw from all this? Principally, that those of us who refuse the vaccine have solid ground to stand on. But we will need to be strong. The pressure will only increase as time goes by. We will be locked out of many public places; we may even be denied entrance into our own churches; perhaps our own Catholic friends and shepherds will deny us. So be it. But we do have a word for them and this word is for everyone, including authorities, both civil and religious of every rank. It is a strong word. That word is this:

Beware. Our conscience stands firm on this issue. If you wish to pressure us, know that you are violating the voice of a well-formed conscience, that is the voice of God Himself. You should also know that international law condemns severely the use of moral persuasion when it comes to that taking of any medication that is experimental. This sort of thing has been done before. It was perpetrated by the same people who put yellow stars on the shoulders of the Jews, and then ultimately decided that they had a better, more final, solution for them.  Beware. Whoever you are, whatever badge or religious symbol you might wear, you are crossing a line that you will bitterly regret and for which you will have to give an account.

God is not mocked, St Paul told us today. You reap what you sow. If you sow in the flesh, you will reap corruption and death and damnation. If you sow in the Spirit, you will reap everlasting life. And he adds: while there is still time, do what is good, for the end of all things is fast approaching.

All this is very alarming and uncomfortable to hear. But God’s word gives us hope. The young man of Naim and his mother were lost, there was no hope. But something happened. God intervened. Jesus stepped in. He touched the funeral bier, and it stopped dead in its tracks. In the offertory verse, in a few moments we will sing : With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me. And he heard my prayers, and brought me out of the pit of misery and the mire of dregs. And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps. And he put a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God (Psalm 39). And at the opening of the Mass we sang from Psalm 85:  Give joy to the soul of thy servant, for to thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul.

Yes, God can restore all things. He can give back the joy that was lost. He can save Australia from the Iron Curtain it finds itself behind at the moment. The wall can come tumbling down in an instant if, like Joshua, we circle the city seven times a day with prayer and acclamation that God alone is great, and we will never bend the knee to Caesar or to any man.

Virgin Most Powerful, come and cast your eyes upon your poor sons and daughters in their plight. Intercede for those are who suffering from the virus. Intercede for those who are suffering from the vaccine. Intercede for those of us who know where we stand. Dry the tears from our eyes, and give this our country the peace and prosperity it so longs for, but which can only come through respect for God’s law. And whatever comes, keep us faithful to what we know to be true. Amen.