WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Catholic University of America (CUA) is compelling all faculty and staff to be vaccinated, citing the federal contracts of $22.8 million it received this year from the Biden administration as a pretext for the policy.
In an email to employees, university president John Garvey says he is subject to President Biden's Executive Order 14042, which requires "institutions that contract with the federal government to implement workplace safety protocols for federal contractors."
"The contracts, which we are party to, fund research, provide jobs and support educational opportunities for our students. Non-compliance would result in a loss of these contracts," wrote Garvey.
"There is no way to opt out of the mandate or to offer a negative test or antibody test as an alternative," Garvey stated, ordering all full-time and part-time employees to be fully jabbed by Dec. 8 unless they have had a religious or medical exemption approved by the university.
Speaking to Church Militant on condition of anonymity, several university faculty and staff members said that religious exemptions are highly unlikely, as Garvey repeatedly quotes Pope Francis' words and policies on mandatory vaccination in his letter.
Garvey circumvents the instruction from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — which states that vaccination is not a "moral obligation" and "must be voluntary" — by saying he has "found the guidance of Pope Francis helpful" in dealing with this conflict.
"The Holy Father has encouraged people to get vaccinated as an act of love for their neighbors. So have we," Garvey remarked, citing the pope's Green Pass legislation coercing Vatican residents, staff and visitors to get jabbed.
"People who come into contact with HEK-293 today cannot be morally responsible for causing an abortion that occurred almost 50 years ago," Garvey explained, defending his position on the use of fetal cells from an aborted baby in the production of the vaccine.
"In 2013, Garvey considered the question of whether the university should support in its facilities research which [sic] uses HEK-293 and other cell lines of illicit origin, and he accepted completely the arguments that there is no ethical problem in using such cells," a Catholic employee said.
"Obviously, if the university supports research using these cells, it's not in a position to give any kind of credence to ethical concerns about the vaccines," the source added.
Another faculty member confirmed:
There is a scuttlebutt that exemptions will be granted freely, but personally I doubt it. The university is run by lawyers, not academics. I have seen that, in this sort of matter, the lawyers go into full-on "protect the institution by siding aggressively with the government" and are likely quickly to throw staff under the bus without pity.
The university has indicated it has no interest in resisting the overreach, nor has it expressed any kind of sympathy for faculty and staff who don't wish to be subject to such overreach. Even though Biden has extended the deadline to Jan. 4, the university hasn't because it wants to fire personnel by the end of the first semester to have time to find replacements for the second semester.
But university sources told Church Militant that CUA has been paying for abortions in its student health insurance plan over the last three years. CUA only apologized and withdrew the policy on Tuesday, after it was shamed by an exposé in The College Fix.
While CUA is fighting federal requirements to provide contraception coverage in its health plan, it denies subsidizing the deliberate killing of a preborn child and claims that it only covers abortion in cases of rape or incest or if the woman's life is in danger.
Sources also told Church Militant that the student government had denied the student pro-life group a modest request for funding of $1,000 to purchase donuts and coffee on Saturday mornings for students who participate in sidewalk counseling.
Meanwhile, 86% of the CUA community and 95% of the faculty and staff have been fully vaccinated, and over 7,500 tests have been conducted since August.
"My own thought is that the [Biden] order is far broader than it needs to be to ensure the performance of our contractual obligations," Garvey admitted. "An employee vaccine mandate is not a step we would have chosen ourselves, but it is the law and we must follow it."
The vaccine mandate does not include students, except those student employees whose work is funded directly by a qualifying government contract.
The law firm of Boyden Gray & Associates is representing federal contractors in a suit and their lawyers have advised CUA faculty and staff to sign up for regular briefings on the suit.
Last year, Garvey came under fire for hiring pro-LGBT dean Dr. Jo Ann Regan to head CUA's National Catholic School of Social Service.
Regan retweeted a Council on Social Work Education brochure on "How to Name and Address Anti-LGBTQIA2S+ Microaggressions in Social Work Classrooms," commenting, "This is an important resource for social work educators!"
In September, the university named a search committee to pick its new president with members including pro-LGBT church leaders like Cdl. Joseph Tobin, Abp. Bernard Hebda and Sr. Janet Eisner. (Eisner leads Boston's Emmanuel College which organizes "lavender graduation" ceremonies.)
Garvey will step down as president of CUA on June 30, 2022.