Could you please quote the section verbatim while mentioning which code (1917 or 1983) you say which makes " being a medical doctor prior to being ordained is a clear violation of canon law."******************I found your statement regarding Fr. Scott and vaccinations rather curious. Perhaps, you could provide some more context to it. When he was our pastor at Our Lady Immaculate in Oak Park, Illinois I seem to remember him advising us that the most practical and effective defense for any parent who finds the state trying to impose a vaccination on their child was simply to declare that he/she did not wish to have their child vaccinated for religious reasons and the government would be forced to walk away.You may wish to see the following more extended discussion of vaccination by Fr. Scott seen below at this link: http://archives.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/catholic_faqs__morality.htm#vaccinationfromabortions
His being a medical doctor prior to being ordained is a clear violation of canon law. So while his ordination was legitimate, it was illicit. How the SSPX explained-away that one, I would like to hear.
From the pulpit, I remember fr. Peter Scott saying that any parent who does not vaccinate their children should be brought up on charges of child neglect. I remember it distinctly because I would never attend his masses again.
Is it licit to allow one’s children to be vaccinated for Rubella?
Answer: There are two particular problems involved with the Rubella vaccination. The first is that there are only two vaccines presently available, and both are derived from fetal cell lines. The second is that the frequency and danger of Congenital Rubella Syndrome, contracted by the fetuses of pregnant mothers infected with the virus, is such as to have brought about a public health policy of universal vaccination for the good of society as a whole. In order to answer these questions, the following principles have to be considered.
Licitness of vaccines derived from fetal cell lines
There is no doubt that it is illicit to prepare, promote, or market vaccines fabricated by the use of cell cultures from aborted babies, since such deliberate use of abortion by-products is a formal cooperation in the abortion. However, the present question is much more delicate. It is whether or not it is permissible to use such vaccines produced and marketed by someone else. If there are alternatives, we manifestly must protest the killing of the innocent by using the alternatives. However, what if they are the only ones that are readily available, as in the case of rubella? Can the principles of double effect be applied? Here are the principles: when only a good effect is directly willed, and a bad effect is simply permitted, but not directly willed in itself, it is permissible, so long as the good effect does not come from the bad effect, and so long as there is a proportionate reason to tolerate the bad effect. In such an instance, it is possible to permit an evil, not directly willed in itself, and this is called the indirect voluntary.
The good effect in this case is the immunization against the infectious disease. The bad effect is the abortion, the killing of the innocent. Here one could argue that the person who seeks the vaccination does not will the abortion, but simply uses the cells that are obtained as a by-product or indirect consequence of it. After all, the abortion was not performed in order to produce fetal cells to produce a vaccine, but for entirely different reasons. However, although the abortion is only indirectly voluntary, nevertheless the Catholic sense tells the faithful that they ought never to use the by-products of abortions for any reason at all, for by so doing they promote the mass murder of the innocent which is destroying modern society and all sense of morality. There must always be a proportionate reason to use the indirect voluntary, that is to permit something evil which is not directly willed. Here the reasonable gain obtained by the use of the double effect is not in any way proportionate to the horrible evil of abortion and the scandal of using them is immense.
If a person is not aware of the fact that fetal cells are being used in the culture of the vaccines that he or she is giving to his children, then clearly there is no moral fault involved. However, if he is aware of this, then he is morally obliged to refuse such vaccinations on principle, until such time as they can be obtained from cultures which are morally licit. Moreover, it is not permissible to remain in wilful ignorance on such a question. If there is a positive reason to suspect that fetal cells are indeed involved in the production of the vaccine, then a person is morally obliged to clarify the matter, and find out if this is indeed true or not.
Illicit vaccines the only ones available
However, the reality is more complicated yet. It is clear that if a Catholic has a choice in the matter, he is bound to choose a vaccine that is not derived from a fetal cell line, for he does not want any kind of participation in the crime of a voluntary abortion, even one done fifty years ago. However, what is he to do if he seems to have no choice. This question has become a very difficult one from the fact that several vaccines are not available in any other form but that derived from an aborted fetus, in particular rubella (contained in the MMR), Chicken Pox (Varicella) and Hepatitis A. Is one morally obliged to forgo such a vaccination, otherwise necessary for health? Also, if one is bound by civil law to receive or give such a vaccination, must one refuse to accept such a vaccination for one’s children under pain of sin?
This question was well treated by the Pontifical Academy for Life, in a document approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and dated June 9, 2005. This document makes the necessary distinctions. The first is between formal and material cooperation. It is never permitted, for any reason, to cooperate formally in another’s immoral action, in this case the abortion, for the evil would be directly willed. Examples of formal cooperation include the staff who willingly help with the abortion or the original researchers who requested the aborted fetal tissue for their research, or the drug companies who promoted it. However, those who simply use the vaccines as by products of the cell line do not necessarily cooperate formally in the abortion.
Material cooperation exists when a person shares in some way in an evil action, for example by taking advantage of its consequences, but without sharing its evil intent. Examples of material cooperation include the staff who prepare the operating theatre or the nurse who prepares the patient, neither of them knowing the exact nature of the procedure to be performed. Material cooperation can be immoral, if done without sufficient reason. However, it can also be permissible and moral, for the will does not directly consent to the evil, for it is a case of the indirect voluntary or double effect. A typical situation would be the cab driver who drops off a person at a certain address, not knowing that it is a house of ill repute, or why he was going there. However, for material cooperation to be permissible, it must be done for a good and proportionately grave reason, in proportion to the gravity of the evil and the proximity of cooperation in it.
The principles of double effect must be applied, namely provided that the good effect (in this case the use of the vaccine) does not come directly from the bad effect (the murder of the innocent), but is simply a by product of this immoral act. Moreover, the material cooperation can be immediate, as in the nurse who takes care of the patient before or after the procedure, or it can be mediate because not directly involved in the abortion. Moreover this mediate material cooperation can also be very remote, and far removed from the abortion itself, as in the case of those who use vaccines that were developed from a fetal cell line some fifty years old. In cases of remote material cooperation, it is not such a grave reason that is required for there to be a proportionate reason for the material cooperation. This is not to deny the very grave evil of abortion, but simply to recognize that the material cooperation, is extremely far removed from the abortion done so many years ago. The absence of any other vaccine and the need of the vaccine for one’s health would be sufficient reason. The reason for this given by the above mentioned document is that in this case, given the remoteness of the material cooperation, “the duty to avoid passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is grave inconvenience”. Danger to health or problems with civil law constitute such a grave inconvenience, which is a proportionate reason to permit such far removed passive, material cooperation, as the document states.
This being said, the development of vaccines from fetal cell lines is gravely immoral, and we have the duty to actively oppose it as much as we can, in order to avoid any formal cooperation. This is how the above mentioned document describes this grave obligation:
Therefore, doctors and fathers of families have a duty to take recourse to alternative vaccines (if they exist), putting pressure on the political authorities and health systems so that other vaccines without moral problems become available…They should oppose by all means…the vaccines which do not yet have morally acceptable alternatives, creating pressure so that alternative vaccines are prepared, which are not connected with the abortion of a human fetus…
Despite this, it would be excessive and wrong to deny that the material cooperation in the use of such vaccines is very remote, so that where there is no alternative to such vaccines, and where the health of children or of the community at large requires it, it is not only permissible to use such vaccines for which there is no alternative, but sometimes even obligatory. This would be the case of a woman planning to marry, who had never been vaccinated against rubella and who did not have any natural immunity. It would be a moral obligation to receive the vaccine, even derived from fetal cell line, in order to protect her own unborn children from the possibility of abortion or of serious deformities due to infection with the rubella virus. Her duty to protect her unborn children is the grave reason that permits and, where there is no alternative even makes obligatory, the very remote mediate material cooperation involved.
Obligatory for the good of society?
The final question that needs to be considered is whether this Rubella vaccine, obligatory for women contemplating marriage who have never developed a natural immunity to German Measles, should be obligatory also for all children. The argument in favor of it is that universal immunization against rubella is the only way to protect against Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and consequently necessary for the good of society. The argument is that unvaccinated children can be carriers of the virus, with which pregnant women can later become infected. This argument is accepted by the above-mentioned article of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which has this to say in footnote 15: ”In this case, the parents who did not accept the vaccination of their own children become responsible for the malformations in question, and for the subsequent abortion of foetuses, when they have been discovered to be malformed”.
However, there are good reasons to question this particular conclusion. If it is true that quasi-universal vaccinations against diseases such as Tuberculosis and Polio were able to effectively eliminate these very serious diseases from the developed world, the same does not necessarily apply to Rubella. The first difference is that, unlike these life-threatening diseases, it is in itself a minor and harmless disease. The second difference is that the natural immunity developed by infection with the virus as a child is much more effective than the artificial immunity created by vaccination. The third difference is that despite decades of vaccination, German Measles is still endemic in the community. The fourth reason is that there is a very easy way for the portion of the community in danger to be protected: women should seek the vaccine before marriage. If they refuse to do so, the rest of the community cannot be held responsible. Furthermore, it would be preposterous to argue that because some young girls decide to perform immoral acts that expose them to falling pregnant before marriage, then the whole community is bound to be vaccinated. This would be to justify immoral behaviour and make it the rule of our action. Fifthly, rubella is in itself an immoral vaccination, and consequently only permissible in cases of real need – women exposed to pregnancy who have not had contact with the Rubella virus itself. Sixthly, why should parents expose their children (especially boys) to the possible complications of vaccinations, when there is no benefit for the children themselves, and when in fact it would be much better, especially for girls, to have contact with the virus while they are young.
In conclusion, in the case of routine vaccine of children with MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella, of which only Rubella is derived from fetal cell lines) there is certainly no obligation to have the vaccine, since it is not strictly necessary, either for one’s own health or for that of the community. If it is desired, then it would certainly be best to request the Measles and Mumps portions separately from the Rubella, thus making a statement of moral principle, and this should be done whenever possible. Nevertheless, if the MMR combination is the only one offered, and if parents have good reason to administer this vaccine (even if it be only the good of society) or if it is considered to be obligatory by public health authorities or for school entrance, then they are not to be troubled in conscience by allowing it to be administered to their children. However, since there are many good reasons to refuse the Rubella vaccine altogether for children, and since it is certainly preferable to make a stand on moral principle, no parent is to be troubled or disturbed because he decides that his children are not to receive the Rubella or the MMR on account of the immoral origin of the Rubella portion of the vaccine. It is perfectly licit in such a case to insist on an exemption of conscience on the grounds of religion. [Answered by Fr. Peter R. Scott]