Austrian Priests: ‘We Cannot Remain Silent’

A group of Austrian priests and deacons publicly condemn the government’s proposal of mandatory vaccines in an open letter. Download the German version here: Stellungnahme Österreicherischer Priester und Diakone.

The following is an English translation of the letter:

CONFIRMA! – STRENGTH! (Luke 22:32)
STATEMENT OF AUSTRIAN PRIESTS AND DEACONS

For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard, as the Acts of the Apostles say (Acts 4,20).

We, priests and deacons from Austria, therefore, feel urged to take a stand in the present crisis and to give room to the impulses of the spirit as well as to common sense – in five points and short, further-reaching sources.

1. Pastoral aspects

An estimated two million Austrian citizens have refused vaccination for well-considered reasons. It goes without saying that the church must stand up for these people, too, according to the words of St. Paul: I have become all things to all people (1 Cor 9:22b).

The divisions within society – which obviously exist – will not be resolved by labelling those who oppose vaccination as selfish idiots. We, the undersigned priests and deacons, know a number of people who feel abandoned by their church in the ongoing crisis. They are merely ordered to “Get vaccinated!,” as though this were the answer to all their questions. Needless to say, no questions whatsoever are answered by such an imperative.

A climate of suspicion and denunciation has developed within a very short time, in which any well-considered opposition to compulsory vaccination is equated, against all reason, with a lack of solidarity; it is frightening to see that this kind of branding is practised even by the church.

In addition, the church is pushing for vaccinations throughout Austria. The fact that the Covid vaccines often have serious side effects is consistently ignored in the vaccination appeals. A search on the Internet, using the keyword “vaccination side effects,” will reveal official sources that provide quite eye-opening information.(1)

This begs the question: does the church consider itself responsible also for the frightening number of cases of vaccine damage and death? We all know people who are leaving the church and who, when asked why, cite the church’s corona policy as the reason for their decision to leave.

And finally: Thousands of livelihoods have already been destroyed by the disproportionate measures taken by the government. People (families, small, medium- sized as well as some large companies, employees, students, etc.) are facing existential ruin. There is also psychological pressure and bullying. All of this is part of the effort to force people to take the vaccines, with threats of losing their jobs or their education; the vexatious 3G regulations add a tremendous amount of pressure, rendering it almost impossible for people to live normal lives. For many, it is literally a question of survival. We should also remember the precarious situation of older people in nursing and retirement homes who are exposed to unreasonable restrictions on visits, the increased suicide rate and the increase in psychiatric illnesses confirmed by doctors, especially among children and adolescents. Then there are the cracks that cut across family ties and friendships.

The Church cannot remain silent in the face of this. It must be unequivocally on the side of the oppressed and the needy. The words of the Lord are perfectly clear: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,… (Mt 25:40).

2. Ethics

It is obvious from the well-founded analyses of the Lozier Institute that all vaccines that are currently (or were) used in Austria are linked to abortion – they either contain fetal cell lines or were subjected to laboratory tests using fetal cell lines. In Gaudium et Spes 51, the Second Vatican Council called abortion a “despicable crime.”

To counter the argument that persons using the vaccine may soothe their conscience by telling themselves that they are only participating in a remote involvement, we would like to point out that the pro-life movement, in line with St. John Paul II, has repeatedly emphasised that “anyone using these vaccines is benefiting from, and at least implicitly supporting, a structure of evil. The continued development of such cell lines and all other – and increasingly common – uses of human fetal tissue to date are proving him right.”

3. Moral aspects

In its Note on the Morality of the Use of some Vaccinations against covid-19, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith mentions two prerequisites that are necessary for a moral justification of the use of a vaccine obtained in this way: on the one hand there must be a serious threat, on the other there must be good reason to assume that the mRNA vaccines in question would significantly reduce this threat.

As of March 2022, can these premises, established in December 2020, be regarded as having been fulfilled by the vaccination campaigns?

Firstly: The dreaded “serious threat” has not materialised – for which we thank the Lord. There is now a sizable number of medical experts who have analysed the incidence of disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but have not identified any epidemic danger. On the contrary: it appears that an increase in the vaccination rate also increases the risk of infection. (3)

Secondly: In view of the plethora of available data, it is now an undisputed fact that the mRNA vaccines are not a suitable means for containing the serious pathogen, as demanded/desired by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They do not prevent infection or transmission of the virus, and the vaccine manufacturers have never even claimed that they would do so. The only benefit of vaccination, consumers are told, is the likelihood of mitigating the severity of an infection, which is now being disputed by a growing number of hospital staff, since the intensive care units are increasingly treating severe cases among the fully vaccinated.(4)

And finally: even if the vaccines used were ethically justifiable, the individual’s reservation of conscience should be respected and not overridden. The reservation of conscience is one of the non-negotiable values. Blessed Franz Jägerstätter is a striking role model in this regard.

4. Medical aspects

mRNA injections (“covid-19 vaccines”) are gene therapy measures; long-term studies concerning these substances are not available. The vaccines have only been declared “conditionally approved.” The evidence of the problems caused by, and the short-term effectiveness of these vaccines is now so overwhelming as to make the threatened so-called compulsory vaccination appear in a thoroughly questionable, not to say disastrous light. We would like, at this point, to cite two sources:

(a) For the vast majority of people (99.8% worldwide), SARS-CoV-2 is not a fatal disease. It typically causes mild to moderate symptoms. This means that the overwhelming majority of people are not at risk from covid-19 and do not need to be vaccinated. Hundreds of medical professionals have already affirmed that about 99% of people are already protected against covid-19 thanks to memory-type antibody responses and that most people now have immunity from exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so that this population would not derive any benefit at all from vaccination.

(b) In the statement of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health of 18 February 2022, issued in reply to a request from the Austrian Constitutional Court, it is now stated, among other things, that children and young people were never at risk, that one third of hospital patients listed as “corona patients” had not been hospitalised for the corona symptoms, but for other, unrelated health problems, and that the average age of people who died from the corona virus was 82.8 years.

In addition, official databases are now beginning to show the full extent of the disastrous side effects of these vaccines; it is important to remember, in this context, that only a negligibly small number of the actual side effects are even reported — a fact that has also been emphasised by the ORF (the Austrian national public service broadcaster).

We hereby provide just one example: as of 17 January 2022, the European database of reported suspected adverse drug reaction reports (EudraVigilance database) listed the following side effects recorded since the start of the vaccination campaign (with the growth rate since 10 January 2022 given in brackets):

Total: -> 1,387,759 cases (+33,259) -> 21,251 deaths (+279) -> 397,681 serious side effects reported (+11,281)

Children: -> 20,410 cases (+605) -> 109 deaths (+6) -> 8,236 serious side effects reported (+276).

We would also like to refer anyone claiming that there are no or only insufficient scientific studies on the fatal vaccination side effects of the covid vaccine to the more than 1,000 studies already conducted on the subject.

Is it not strange that since the beginning of the covid crisis, critical expert voices have been systematically suppressed, disqualified, ridiculed, censored or immediately branded with the defamatory label “Covidiot” and that alternative treatment methods tried out by doctors were kept secret or – all too often – discredited by the media? And aren’t the available data on the catastrophic side effects of the vaccines an unmistakable call for reflection and course correction?

5. Legal aspects

We want to touch on this aspect only briefly. A number of lawyers, both in Austria and in Germany, have pointed out that the so-called compulsory vaccination is unconstitutional because it violates human dignity and the fundamental right to life and physical integrity. It also disproportionately interferes with the fundamental right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience and constitutes a massive violation of the right of parents to educate their children as they see fit. (5)

Conclusions

In view of the above, we want to state, clearly and unmistakeably, that we are shepherds of the whole flock. The Catholic Church has the fundamental task of not only respecting the freedom of conscience of the individual, but of defending it, because “conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths” (Gaudium et spes 16).

In its Note quoted above, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirms the pre-eminence of conscience: “At the same time, it is obvious to practical reason that, as a rule, vaccination is not a moral obligation and that it must therefore be voluntary” (no. 5).

And the text goes on to say that one may very well “reject, for reasons of conscience, vaccines that have been produced from cell lines derived from aborted fetuses.”

We therefore oppose the illegal compulsory vaccination, with the aim of protecting the faithful entrusted to our care from encroachments by the state.

The language we use should be clear and unequivocal. The covid crisis has pointed up, once again, how language is constantly used as a means of manipulation. For anyone not in denial as to the available sources of information, which deprive this measure of any justification, the so-called vaccination requirement is de facto a compulsory vaccination – so let us refer to it by its correct designation.

There is one last point we would like to make: we must not allow Austrian society to remain divided or continue to be divided. As pastors and spiritual directors, we must fight for unity in truth. Christ as the Saviour of all must shine forth. We take to heart the word of the Lord when He admonished Peter: And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren! (Luke 22:32)

Convert and strengthen: where we have been silent for too long, we ask for forgiveness. We want to fulfill our task of strengthening our brothers and sisters by issuing this statement.

Many thanks!

Signatures

The names of all priests and deacons who signed this letter are on file at the offices of notary Mag. Luger Roland, Pfarrg. 27, 4240 Freistadt

Footnotes

1. See 4. Medical
2. https://lozierinstitute.org/update-covid-19-vaccine-candidates-and-abortion-derived-cell-lines/ (22.02.2022)
3. https://aerzte-fuer-das-leben.de/fachinformationen/schwangerschaftsabbruch-abtreibung/impfstoffe-und-abtreibung/15-12-21-covid-19-impfstoffe-und-fetale-zellen/ (22.02.2022). See also/Siehe auch die Präzisierung von Prof. Dr. med. Paul Cullen, ebd.: „Von der HEK-293-Zellinie, die hauptsächlich bei den COVID-19-Impfstoffen zum Einsatz kommt, wird oft behauptet, sie stamme nicht von einer Abtreibung, sondern von einer Fehlgeburt. Aus solchem Gewebe lässt sich jedoch keine Zelllinie züchten. Vielmehr muss sich Gewebe, das zur Entwicklung einer Zelllinie gedacht ist, ‚lebendfrisch‘ (so der Fachterminus) entnommen und entweder sofort weiterverarbeitet oder gekühlt werden. Die Zahl 293 weist übrigens darauf hin, dass es vermutlich erst beim 293. Versuch gelungen ist, eine solche Zelllinie zu etablieren. Somit ist es sehr unwahrscheinlich, dass bei der Entwicklung von HEK – 293 nur eine Abtreibung ‚benötigt‘ wurde.“
4. „Daten aus 185 Ländern zeigen, dass in den meist durchgeimpften Bevölkerungen besonders hohe covid-19-Sterberaten zu verzeichnen sind. Eine Studie aus den USA und Israel weist eine Übersterblichkeit nach covid-Impfungen nach.“ Quelle, mit Belegen, see FN 11.
5. Ein Video-Beleg unter einer Vielzahl anderer, von einem Klinikarzt in Antwerpen. Wörtlich: »Wer glaubt, dass die Intensivstationen mit Ungeimpften voll sind, irrt sich.« https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sahPiqbDEZ8 (22.02.2022)

6. https://doctors4covidethics.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Vaccine-Risk-Benefit_updated-August-2021.pdf (22.02.2022)
7. Das gesamte Dokument ist abrufbar unter: https://www.docdroid.net/ZlRoFcp/vfgh-pdf#page=3 (22.02.2022)
8. See: https://science.orf.at/stories/3206228/ (22.02.2022)
9. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vYgYlgqh_sQ02TXe3ytOhOuYUMEUwxwC/view (22.02.2022). See also (19.02.2022): https://impfnebenwirkungen.net/ema/tabellen/
10. See: https://www.saveusnow.org.uk/covid-vaccine-scientific-proof-lethal/ (22.02.2022)
11. See dazu die ausführliche Stellungnahme zum Entwurf eines Impfpflichtgesetzes aus grundrechtlicher Perspektive unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Katholischen Standpunktes der Rechtsmanufaktur Suntinger, Kärnten: https://www.parlament.gv.at/PtWeb/api/s3serv/file/00e2080c-2bfe-41e3-a492-44a5b21ffa4c (22.02.2022). In seiner Resolution 2361 (2021) hat übrigens selbst der Europarat am 27.01.2021 u.a. beschlossen, dass die Impfung nicht verpflichtend sein darf und niemand deswegen diskriminiert werden darf, weil er nicht geimpft ist: https://www.afa-zone.at/allgemein/europarat-untersagt-impfzwang-unddiskriminierung/ (22.02.2022)


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