VACCINES, A MORAL ISSUE REGARDING ABORTED BABY TISSUE

GEORGE DUNLAP, JANUARY 31, 2020. My last post of the year, and my challenge is do I finish the year with a “feel good” piece or …… I choose this topic since we find it difficult to discuss such morality, in our Catholic Churches today. Do we accept a good from a most serious evil? When can a Bad Thing be a Good? That is the case that we as Catholic’s must consider when we are not celebrating the New Year with Family and Friends. If we choose to sit on the side lines, we will be held to the same standards as those we blinding allow to continue in their abortion services…supported by Christians of all faiths. We as Catholics must be the standard bearer of the truth and always protect the unborn child. To Vaccinate or not….. May God Bless you and your family. Don’t you think it is time we have an honest conversation….?

A PASTOR ON THE VACCINES

By Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Vatican and the U.S. bishops have affirmed the morality of several of the recent anti-COVID vaccines, some developed using testing that involved embryonic stem cells. They have evaluated the methods employed for each of the vaccines currently approved and encouraged the use of those least morally compromised. But where options are limited, they say, the faithful will not be sinning by being vaccinated. This teaching follows the orthodox moral analysis that has existed for decades, including the papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. There remain, however, a few loose ends.

We sin when we choose an evil action. We know it is wrong, and we freely do it anyway. We cooperate with the sinful acts of others when we approve of or facilitate their sin. When we vote for a politician because of his pro-abortion positions, we formally cooperate in the evil he promotes. If we oppose his pro-abortion policies and vote for him anyway, we materially cooperate in the evil he supports. If the material cooperation is avoidable (it’s possible to vote for a candidate that has comparatively more morally upright policy positions), we are guilty of the sin.

A nurse who disapproves of abortion but assists an abortionist during the medical procedure also shares in the guilt with “proximate material cooperation.” Hospital maintenance personnel who mop the floors of an abortion facility may or may not be guilty of sin. The clean-up is “remote material cooperation,” but there is an obligation to seek employment elsewhere then, if possible.

These moral analyses are rational, but there are hard cases. In 1972, for example, an airplane crash stranded the Uruguayan rugby team in freezing weather. The survivors ate the bodies of their dead comrades to survive. As grotesque as the situation was, their moral status is certain. There was no formal cooperation in the death of the passengers. Their circumstances were desperate. Finally, there was little or no chance that the cannibalism would encourage murder. But one could hardly blame a person who chose to die rather than to dine on a teammate.

Among the notorious Nazi experiments on concentration camp prisoners (see here):

Doctors immersed prisoners into tanks of ice water for hours at a time, often dying of exposure, to discover how long German pilots downed by enemy fire could survive the frozen waters of the North Sea.

To develop a vaccination serum against tuberculosis, doctors injected live tubercle bacilli into the lungs of prisoners. They also removed lymph glands from the arms of twenty Jewish children.

Doctors amputated the shoulders and legs of inmates in futile attempts to transplant the limbs onto other victims.

Thousands of inmates had their genitals mutilated to discover cheap methods of mass sterilization.

Is it morally permissible for us today to use Nazi research to save lives? Doctor John Hayward, a Biology Professor at Victoria University, justified his use of the murderous Nazi hypothermia data with the same logic as the bishops and Holy See have applied to some COVID vaccines: “I don’t want to have to use the Nazi data, but there is no other and will be no other in an ethical world. . . .But not to use it would be equally bad. I’m trying to make something constructive out of it. I use it with my guard up, but it’s useful.”

Moral analyses using formal, proximate, and remote material cooperation apply to all of these examples. Yet, there remains an emotional factor. Could we blame family members of the victims for torching the research papers and rejecting those who blithely promote using the findings in the service of the common good?

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GOD NEVER LOSES – Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap. (retired)

George Dunlap, December 23, 2020. The last line in Chaput’s keynote prayer breakfast…we serve God best by living our faith with the kind of passion and joy that touches the hearts of others, and through them, reshapes the world. Are we welling to live a life of “Roland” (The Song of Roland)? Are we spiritually prepared to be the rear guard for others…?

One of the great legacies of our cultural history is La Chanson de Roland (The Song of Roland). It was composed a thousand years ago, in the mid-11th century, and it tells the story of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. The battle took place on the border of Spain and France in A.D. 778, during the reign of Charlemagne. The story goes like this.

Charlemagne has been fighting in Spain against that country’s Muslim occupiers. The campaign has been a success. He now leads his army back to France to rest. But the pass he must use, Roncevaux Pass, is narrow and treacherous. So he leaves his favorite captain—Roland, a great Christian knight who’s beloved by his men—to command the rear guard and secure the entry to the pass. If there’s trouble, Roland will blow his horn, Oliphant, to signal his need. So Charlemagne and his army disappear into the pass.

What happens next is this. Roland’s stepfather betrays him. Roland is ambushed by a much larger Muslim force seeking to attack Charlemagne from the rear. Roland and his men fight heroically, and before they’re finally overwhelmed, Roland puts Oliphant to his lips. The sound of the great horn echoes along the pass. Charlemagne hears it, turns his army, hurries back, and crushes the enemy. But of course it’s too late for Roland and his men. They’ve done their duty and protected their friends, but they’ve given their lives doing it.

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Why ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Remains Beloved By Both Christians And Non-believers.

George Dunlap, 12/14/2020: My favorite Christmas short is. A Charlie Brown Christmas, released December 9, 1965, I was 10 and in the throws of a childhood Christmas overload. I would go on to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ till today. It allows me to go back to the days of childhood Christmas Joy, I would always set up, when, Linus tells us all the true meaning of Christmas.

By Clemente Lisi – December 10, 2020

The TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” continues to be a holiday favorite among both Christians and non-believers alike over the past five decades. Photo courtesy of Apple TV.
The TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” continues to be a holiday favorite among both Christians and non-believers alike over the past five decades. Photo courtesy of Apple TV.

Religion Unplugged believes in a diversity of well-reasoned and well-researched opinions. This piece reflects the views of the author and does not necessarily represent those of Religion Unplugged, its staff and contributors.

(OPINION) There were many things in my home growing up that were part of my family’s Christmas tradition. Like millions of Americans, we had a tree in the living room, adorned with lights and ornaments. As Catholics, we had a nativity creche under that tree. While my sister and I loved the decorations and traditions, what was on TV was a big part of the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

My sister and I watched all the holiday specials in the 1980s. From Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Jack Frost, we’d grab our hot chocolate and marshmallows and clad in our pajamas, we’d sit and watch these holiday cartoons.

The one common thread these specials had was that they were for everyone. And for everyone, I mean Christians and non-Christians alike. While they were about Christmas, they had zero religious content to them. In the world of Frosty and Rudolph, Christmas was a celebration that included everything (Santa Claus, presents and snow) but Jesus. That made for a more inclusive audience, allowing millions of non-Christians, agnostics and even atheists to enjoy these shows.

Not all of Christmas specials functioned this way. A Charlie Brown Christmas, for example, remains a perpetual holiday favorite since it first premiered on Dec. 9, 1965 on CBS. In this TV special, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite all the commercial holiday cheer (yes, Christmas was commercial even as far back as the ‘60s) around him. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play — but his efforts are largely ignored. In the process, Charlie Brown buys a pathetic tree and is mocked even further by the Peanuts gang.

Something truly magical happens near the end of the 30-minute special when Charlie Brown asks — shouts! — what the true meaning of Christmas is. Instead of more commercialism, Linus sets his friend — and everyone else — straight by delivering this truly important message:

“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them — “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

“And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill toward men.”

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Mr. Biden and the Matter of Scandal

GEORGE DUNLAP, 12/10/2020, This morning I read the, 12/4/2020, blog from, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia – retired, as a Catholic in quest of the Truth I have followed the Archbishop’s writings, since he was Bishop of Denver. The Archbishop clarifies the FACT that President-elect Joe Biden should be banned from receiving communion due to his support for ABORTION RIGHTS. There is no compromise with ABORTION. On the 7th of this month a second article came out by Julia Terruso of the The Philadelphia Inquirer detailing the on going battle in our faith between Truth & Deceit. Please, if you are a seeker of the truth and pro-life Catholic invest a few minutes. Our eternal life; with or without God is in the balance.

Readers may recall that during the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry led the Democratic ticket. As a Catholic, Kerry held certain policy views that conflicted with the moral beliefs of his Church. This led to internal tensions among U.S. bishops about how to handle the matter of Holy Communion for Catholic public officials who publicly and persistently diverge from Catholic teaching on issues like abortion. At the time, Washington’s then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, along with Pittsburgh’s Bishop Donald Wuerl, had very different views from my own regarding how to proceed.  

I believed then, and believe now, that publicly denying Communion to public officials is not always wise or the best pastoral course. Doing so in a loud and forceful manner may cause more harm than good by inviting the official to bask in the media glow of victimhood. What I opposed in 2004, however, was any seeming indifference to the issue, any hint in a national bishops’ statement or policy that would give bishops permission to turn their heads away from the gravity of a very serious issue. At the time, fortunately, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith resolved any confusion about correct practice in these matters with its July 2004 memorandum to then-Cardinal McCarrick, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles. It includes the following passage:

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Philadelphia’s retired archbishop says Biden should be denied communion over his abortion stance

GEORGE DUNLAP, 12/7/2020. Do we as Pro-Life Catholics engage or sit on the side lines and allow evil to grow. Abortion is EVIL and if you and I do nothing, we too, we will be banished from the Kingdom of God. We must be part of the solution and no longer remain in the shadows. God forgive us all. The below article by Julia Terruso defines the mission of our faith.

Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer

Former Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said late last week that President-elect Joe Biden should be banned from receiving communion due to his support for abortion rights, fueling an ongoing debate among Catholic leaders in the United States over how to relate to the nation’s second Catholic president.

Chaput, who led Philadelphia’s diocese from 2011 until this year, said Biden “is not in full Communion with the Catholic Church,” and criticized bishops who have spoken out in favor of letting Biden receive communion. He made the argument in a column titled, “Mr. Biden and the Matter of Scandal,” which published Friday in the Catholic magazine First Things. Related stories


Whether Biden, who supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, should receive communion came up at a convening of the nation’s bishops last month. At that meeting, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, said he would form a working group to further discuss the “difficult and complex situation” of Biden’s presidency.

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J.R.R. Tolkien’s Advice On Keeping the Faith in Dark Times

George Dunlap, November 16, 2020. I still remember, my 4th grade elementary school teacher reading The Hobbit to our class, to this day. As I grew older I moved on to reading The Lord of the Rings series, and finally the LOTR movie version. I have always been fascinated with Tolkien’s writings, life, and Catholic Faith. The below is a wonderful article about how Tolkien dealt with “The Dark Times, in our…. faith, comes strength. Enjoy this article.

Jul 17th 2019 by Genevieve Cunningham

From the 1950s until now, readers of countless backgrounds and beliefs have been mesmerized by The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. But the name of J.R.R. Tolkien is well known even to those who have no taste for fantasy literature.

Despite his fame, many fans of this literary genius are unaware that he was a devout Roman Catholic whose faith profoundly influenced his work. It was, in fact, Tolkien’s faith and frequent reception of the Sacraments that sustained him through the trials of personal life, the darkness of two world wars, the disappointment and suffering inflicted by members and leaders of the Church, and the scandal caused by destruction of the sacred liturgy.

I recently discovered a letter he wrote on November 1st, 1963 to his son Michael to provide encouragement in a time of upheaval. It is an astonishing letter, most especially because it feels as though it had been written today in the wake of egregious sins committed by some of our Catholic clergy.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS – ELECTION 2020

Dear Catholic Bishops, The poet John Milton wrote: “The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.” Church leadership is called upon to do the right thing, especially in difficult times: to speak the truth boldly and lovingly and to watch over those entrusted to their care. When bishops fail to fulfill this sacred obligation, the lay faithful are left feeling confused, neglected, and abandoned.

Such is the situation as we approach our national election in which a clear and obvious divide exists on essential matters related to earthly wellbeing and eternal welfare: the protection of God-given life from conception to natural death; the safeguarding of the family and the wellspring of sexuality; the dignity of all persons, including the rights of conscience and the freedom to live and worship without interference from the state or persecution from the culture.

The Democratic Party that once championed the civil rights of all has now become hostile to Christian faith and those who practice it. Their shrunken tent has no room for those who are pro-life, no room for those who profess what has been called mere Christianity, nor for any who believe in the value of patriotism insofar as patriotism embodies a natural preference for one’s own country.

Moreover, the Democratic presidential candidate himself can be considered Catholic in name only, for in nearly a half-century of public life he has routinely, repeatedly, and systematically rejected what the Church teaches: on life issues, on sexual morality, on religious liberty. When asked recently whether he would support an eight-year old’s decision to change gender, he answered in the affirmative.

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