I have spent the past 20 years as General Manager of the Living Bread Radio Network, an EWTN affiliate. It has been a great joy to help others come to know the truths of the Catholic Faith. Through the years we have heard countless stories of listeners who have come back to the practice of the Catholic Faith because of listening to our network. Souls are saved and lives are changed by just listening. It takes incredible commitment, great dedication, blood, sweat and tears by our staff to keep a listener supported network such as our on the air. We do it joyfully because we see the fruits.
This past year I have seen a sharp departure from the solid Catholic teaching that we have for many years taken for granted from EWTN. Some of the most admired syndicated Catholic preachers, that I will not mention here, have come on “our radio network” encouraging people to accept a vaccine that is derived from or tested on aborted babies. I am angered, amazed, embarrassed and ashamed! How can Catholics condone intrinsically evil acts? The Catholic Church teaches that an intrinsically evil act may never be accepted for a greater good. The end never justifies the means! (CCC 1789)
I am disgusted every time a listener calls to tell me that they heard a theologian or Catholic priest (syndicated through EWTN), on our radio station, say it’s ok to take the Covid vaccine because the aborted babies used in testing were aborted many years ago and we are very far removed from that event. Astounding! If we follow that same logic then maybe the Jewish holocaust wasn’t really that bad because it happened over eighty years ago.
I am not a theologian and I don’t have advanced degrees but I can, along with my listeners, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It states that “an intrinsically evil act may never be used for good”….yes even in a pandemic! May God have mercy on us!
Barbara Gaskell, Director
Living Bread Radio Network
Although we may appreciate the sentiments of Ms. Gaskell – and the great evil of abortion – we cannot go beyond the Magisterium and declare something an ‘intrinsic evil’ when the Church has specifically stated that it is not. True enough, there seems to have been direct cooperation in the ‘intrinsic evil’ of abortion in the production of at least some of these vaccines (as with many other products, medical and otherwise), but that does not make use of these vaccines, after the fact, intrinsically evil.
That said, use of the vaccines may still be an evil: An act does not have to be intrinsically evil, to be evil, for besides the ‘object’ of the act, there are also the intention and circumstances to consider. Readers know that I have deep reservations about this ‘vaccine’ (which is not a vaccine in the traditional sense, but some sort of modification of our genetic processes) and I advocate a duly cautious and informed conscience.
The Church has declared that not only must we raise our objections to such products tainted with evil (whether that be abortion, or even slavery), and seek morally uncompromised alternatives (as Archbishop Miller is trying to do in Vancouver), but we should only use/buy/procure them when there is grave and proportionate reason to do so.
There is a distinction between formal and material cooperation, which helps us navigate our way in this fallen world, in which so many things are tainted with evil. Some of these principles are outlined in a previous post which may be found here, which also has some of the requisite sources.