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A Layman Tebukes Aussie Archbishop’s COVID Letter
« on: August 22, 2021, 09:23:09 PM »
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  • Attention: Archbishop Fisher
    Your Grace
    A lack of leadership in secular society can be difficult, and indeed has been for some decades in Australia and around the world. Yet a lack of leadership within the one true church of Christ the King, is a singular disaster.
    Your recent pastoral letter to clergy, dated 10 August 2021, is truly a sad testament as to the state of the Church's leadership, or absence of it, within Australia. One of necessity need object to the ignorance, arrogance and gross imprudence of its content.
    Given the length of the document I shan't waste either of our time with all of it, but will restrain myself to two points.
    You rightly point out that clergy should give good example, however, you seem to imply ignorance and imprudence are good example.
    Ignorance of the official figures that are freely available to any individual genuinely seeking the truth with regard the tally of deaths, attributable to the very vaccines you are recommending be encouraged to the faithful, and taken by the clergy, is appalling in this case. The fact that any drug trial is automatically terminated immediately if there are multiple deaths, twenty five globally will do it. It makes one wonder why you would place yourself in the position of counselling people to enter a drug trial, when we now officially have in excess of fifty thousand deaths, and none are allowed to even ask a question. You don't think that is strange? And when exactly did Christ commission clergy to become hawkers of pharmaceutical products? Or give health advice? Or act as government agents? Or be coercive to seek to manipulate the consciences of the faithful?
    The fact that you perceive an obligation to give health advice is extraordinary when you seem unable, and indeed unwilling, to carry out your actual directive from Christ the King. At the very time when the sacramental need was most urgent, you and your brother priests were hiding under your beds, taking unlawful and illegitimate orders not form Christ the King, but from the government whom you have decided to serve instead. There will be no hiding at your personal judgement, though looking around the Catholic clergy it is clear to the casual observer, that many have lost their faith long ago. More concerned with their skin than their souls.
    Imprudence on so many levels it is embarrassing. You are obviously listening to government and the media. Health advice from a government who has legislated the murder for unborn children right up to the day of birth. The same government who even protect the murderers from any scrutiny. Euthanasia. Sodomy. I could go on, but you get the idea. I'm sure we can trust them. And the mainstream media ever baying for the same agenda. They have been panicking the population for eighteen months with horror stories a plenty. Where is the evidence? Where are the autopsies? Australia had less deaths last year than any previous year. We normally have three hundred thousand cases of flu each year in Australia. Last year we had twenty one thousand. WHY? Strangely enough everyone had Covid, a disease that has as yet not been isolated, and therefore is not 'scientifically' demonstrated to even exist. That's empirical science. Emotion has replaced science, even within the Church. The average age of death for Australians is 81. The average age of presumed covid death is 85. Perhaps we should all get covid and live four years longer.
    While you are listening to the government and the media, some of us are listening to Nobel prize winning leaders in their fields, who are screaming from the rooftops the alarm. You on the other hand are apparently listening to the fact checkers who are silencing them. Those faceless untouchable individuals sitting in their facebook or Google cubicle 'fact checking' information they know so little about, it borders on criminal that they can censure those who are in fact leaders in their fields. And still the bell is apparently silent within you.
    It is abundantly clear for anyone with the slightest degree of common sense, that none of this unscientific emotional nonsense has anything to do with a virus. Every human being is apparently safe at Bunnings and the football, but not in church? There are many people around the world currently gathering evidence for the next Nuremberg trial. The premier of NSW and some of her ministers are guilty of crimes against humanity. She is well outside of many federal laws, Bio security act 2015 section 60 & 61, Australian Privacy Amendment act 2020 section H94, not to mention the Australian Constitution. Many NSW police, and other states, are well outside the 1914 crimes act, and are themselves criminals. The ѕυιcιdє rate is culpable in and of itself.
     
    If the states have the right to override federal legislation, the Australian Constitution and indeed high court precedent, then Australia is open to every tyranny by any individual who happens to ascend to the position of state premier and decides to exercise dictatorial rule. I don't think our forefathers were that stupid. I'm pretty sure they didn't expect their offspring would be either. 
    We have Australian troops at check points on Australian roads policing Australians, and people required to obtain a permit to leave Sydney. What's next if people refuse to comply. Do we shoot them? Do they have to start loading people into railway cars before you get with the program? Wake up! The culpable ignorance that has been on display from the Australian clergy, and the bishops in particular, is frankly disgraceful.
    And just for the record, Pope Francis does not have his own magisterium. Nor is every thought bubble he has a part of the magisterium. When I am looking for guidance, it is unlikely I will look to the sodomy-ridden, scandal-plagued group of hand-picked heretics side-tracked worshiping their pagan pachamama, that currently infest the Vatican. As a Catholic, that would be grossly imprudent. I have the Magisterium of the ages to inform me. It tells me that murder is murder no matter how remote. It also tells me that it is not just about the murder, and the appalling use of foetal tissues, but about the dignity of the temple of the Holy Spirit, that has not only been violated and desecrated, but tortured, as the organs were extracted while the baby was still living. There was no burial or any appropriate reverence for that temple, made for the glory of God by God's own will. Seen in His eye before time began. I wonder if God thought the child remote in His mind's eye, before He created the firmament?
    So when I use the terms ignorant, arrogant and imprudent, I am being most gracious. When these protesters are marching for their freedom, EVERY catholic bishop should be at the front. Now if only we can find a Catholic Bishop in Australia.
    I will seek your forgiveness if you consider me a little blunt, but I expect this kind of intellectual incompetence from uneducated rabble. I expect Christ's Princes would at least exercise some level of conscientiousness when it comes to assisting their flocks, and their clergy. Your pastoral letter does not reflect Catholic teaching, and should be retracted immediately. It is a blight upon the Catholic historical landscape in this country. Given some of the other garbage that has come out of curia's around this country, that is a pretty big call!
    Yours in Christ, still my King
    Robert Smith

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    Re: A Layman Tebukes Aussie Archbishop’s COVID Letter
    « Reply #1 on: August 23, 2021, 02:24:31 AM »
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  • Excellent letter.  Is there a link for it?


    Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious. – Fulton J. Sheen


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    Re: A Layman Tebukes Aussie Archbishop’s COVID Letter
    « Reply #2 on: August 23, 2021, 05:46:12 AM »
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  • Excellent letter.  Is there a link for it?


    Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious. – Fulton J. Sheen
    https://tradidi.com/threads/a-response-to-archbishop-fishers-pastoral-letter-on-vaccination.656/

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    Re: A Layman Tebukes Aussie Archbishop’s COVID Letter
    « Reply #3 on: August 31, 2021, 08:16:44 PM »
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  • This is the epistle to which the OP is responding:

    Quote
    Responsibilities and Opportunities for the Clergy in Time of COVID-19
    Tenth Pastoral Letter during the COVID-19 Pandemic Feast of St Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, 10 August 2021

    Quote
    Dear brother deacons, priests and bishops,
    Vaccination of the Clergy
    At a recent meeting of NSW Bishops, some bishops expressed concern about the degree of “vaccine hesitancy” within their communities, and even amongst some clergy, and asked what they might say to their people. I shared with them my reasons for believing we should encourage our people, and our clergy in particular, to be vaccinated and I’d like to share those reasons now with you, as my brothers in the ministry of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Why should we encourage people to receive the vaccine and why should we do so ourselves? First, because the magisterium favours the use of these vaccines. The Pope,1 several Vatican dicasteries,2 Bishops Conferences around the world,3 the Australian Bishops4 and I personally5 have all taught that:
     The use of vaccines in general is morally permissible and is morally warranted for the protection of the recipient’s life and health, for the prevention of transmission to others, and for the common good
     The use of the COVID-19 vaccines is to be encouraged for these same reasons
     It is very disappointing that cell-lines ultimately derived from aborted foetuses have been used in the production of some COVID-19 vaccines (the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines), or in their development and testing (the mσdernα and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline vaccines) or in related research (the pfιzєr and Novovax vaccines); pharmaceutical researchers and manufacturers are strongly encouraged to produce vaccines with no morally
    compromising use of foetal cell lines
     Receiving these vaccines would nonetheless normally involve no formal
    cooperation or impermissible material cooperation in the evils of abortion and the exploitation of foetuses on the part of the recipients; the recipients would be chronologically and morally very remote from the abortions and the collection of foetal cells fifty years ago; and the recipients have no desire to profit from these or to have these repeated
     Where they have the option, some will prefer the pfιzєr vaccine to the AstraZeneca on the basis that it is the less morally compromised.
    1

    Secondly, it is the elderly (and other especially vulnerable people) who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19 and so they should have some priority in the distribution of the vaccine. Those who care for them should also have some priority. But piety towards our elders (and other vulnerable people) should make those who are younger especially unwilling to expose them to the risks of contracting COVID-19. This means that the young and healthy, who might not be afraid for themselves, should nonetheless avoid contracting the virus as much or more for the protection of others with whom they might come into contact as for themselves.
    Thirdly, the clergy as pastoral leaders in their communities, have an even greater duty to set a good example in this regard. The Pope, most or all of the Bishops of Australia, and most of the clergy have given this good example.
    Fourthly, a normal part of the ministry of the clergy is to visit the sick – in hospitals, aged care facilities and their homes. Although vaccination certificates are not yet mandatory, they will surely become mandatory before too long in hospitals and aged care facilities, as flu vaccine certificates are already; the same may also come to apply to home visitation. For a clergyman to refuse vaccination in these circumstances would render it impossible for him to perform important parts of his ministry.
    Fifthly, even were there no such legal or social expectation, the clergy have a responsibility to protect their priesthood and thus their life and health, and not to endanger the life or health of the people to whom we minister, especially the most vulnerable. Whilst it is true that vaccination does not guarantee that a person will not contract and transmit the virus, it does substantially reduce the risk of transmission.
    Sixthly, unlike the previous lockdown and lockdowns in some other jurisdictions, the Government has this time around allowed clergy to leave their presbyteries and to visit homes to provide pastoral care. We must exercise this freedom wisely and be sure to reduce the risk of infection to ourselves and to others by ensuring we are vaccinated, are tested whenever appropriate, use masks, and practice personal hygiene and social distancing measures etc.
    I am aware that many people, clergy included, have misgivings about the COVID-19 vaccines: the changing and sometimes confusing medical advice, the politicisation of the vaccine rollout, the fact that they are not 100% safe or 100% effective, the fear that they have been insufficiently tested and may have side-effects as yet unknown, the unjust distribution of the vaccine, the fact that foetal cell-lines were used in the ways described above – all these reasons and more are given for people’s hesitancy about receiving the vaccines. The internet and social media are awash with extreme claims for and against the vaccines. But the fact is: few vaccines ever protect 100% of those who receive them and none is without risk. The annual flu vaccine protects most people, but some still get the flu, and some of those who do, die; but a much higher proportion of those struck down with flu have not been vaccinated, and when they get it they get sick and/or die
    2

    and/or transmit it to others. On presently available evidence it would seem to be that vaccination significantly reduces the likelihood of contracting COVID-19, the likelihood of suffering symptoms and especially serious illness if one does contract it, the likelihood of hospitalisation and early death as a result, and the likelihood of transmitting it to others. Very few of those who are dying of COVID-19 were fully vaccinated. Nevertheless people should not be coerced into vaccination but should be able freely to decide. Those who are nervous or unsure about whether to be vaccinated should discuss the matter with their GP so that they know what is the best course of action for them.
    Some argue that we should vaccinate only the vulnerable in the community, and allow the young and healthy (clergy included) to go about their lives as usual. However, this would still put at risk older people who for whatever reason have not been vaccinated, and even some of those who have been vaccinated but are still at risk. It has also become clear that if the virus runs free in the community, more and more variants will emerge, some of which may be resistant to current vaccines, and this will endanger more lives. The only solution is to reduce the spread of the virus among the younger and fitter part of the population, while continuing to apply particular measures to protect the elderly and most vulnerable. What I am saying is that there is no “solution” to this pandemic that does not involve everyone, from every section of our community, and indeed every nation and community across the world.
    As you know, I have now publicly engaged alone or in conjunction with other bishops or other faith leaders not just to promote vaccination, but also to raise the ethical concerns and to emphasise that protecting physical and economic health is not all that matters. We must also consider people’s liberties and consciences, their need for friendship and thus for person-to-person relations, the goods of learning, aesthetic experience, excellence at work and so on, and of course people’s spiritual needs including the need to congregate for worship. In considering vaccination and other measures at this time, public officials should take all these things (and more) into account. And so, of course, will we. But I ask you, my brothers, to please get vaccinated.
    Pastoral Care by the Clergy
    As discussed at our recent Zoom clergy conference, we won a major concession in the present lockdown in that clergy have been given permission to leave their presbyteries and visit homes for the purposes of giving pastoral care. This is a very significant opportunity that we must avail ourselves of fully, without exploiting it inappropriately or endangering people in the process. Here are a couple of examples of the pastoral creativity that I understand some clergy are presently exercising.
    First, where it is safe to do so, some priests have been offering their daily Mass in a parishioner’s home as part of a pastoral care visit. This has allowed some people in parishes the great blessing of Mass and to receive Holy Communion. Of course, many will miss out but it is a great consolation to some. You or your staff could contact families
    directly asking if you might offer Mass in their home on the occasion of a pastoral visit; or you could call for parishioners to volunteer their home for this purpose. Please be conscious of the importance of vaccination, masks, hygiene measures and social distancing and remind such families that they may not invite people from outside their household to join. We must make the best use of this freedom at the least risk to self and others.
    Secondly, some priests have visited parishioners at their invitation or ‘on spec’ and offered them Confession and/or Holy Communion and/or a spiritual chat. Many would, I am sure, appreciate such an initiative from you – more, perhaps, than welcome us to their homes in ordinary times. You could invite parishioners to book you in for a visit.
    Thirdly, I understand that some priests have offered themselves as a walking companion for parishioners needing exercise, and have used the opportunity to hear their Confession, have a spiritual talk or render other pastoral assistance and compassionate care. I commend this to you as another possibility. In regards to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this cannot be done over the phone or video, the penitent must be in the presence of the priest to validly receive this sacrament.
    Fourthly, as we saw last year and have seen again this year, you men have many good ideas of your own about how to reach out to your people in this hour of need. I understand that depression and loneliness rates are up dramatically, that people are anxious not just about health but about their financial security, relationships and more. We want to be there for them. With a little ingenuity we can find new ways of being so. I ask you, my brothers, to keep thinking of ways and applying yourselves generously. And I know that you will continue to offer Mass and other prayers for the safety of our people and an end to this pandemic.
    I am enormously proud of the clergy of Sydney in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proud, and also grateful. Thank you my brothers. You are an inspiration.
    St Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, pray for us!
    Yours fraternally in Christ,
    Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, DD BA LlB BTheol DPhil Archbishop of Sydney
    1 Pope Francis, “Address to the Banco Farmaceutico Foundation” 19 September 2020 https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2020/september/documents/papa-francesco_20200919_banco-farmaceutico.html;


     

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