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The bishop of Paterson, New Jersey is pulling out some big guns on his priests forcing them to get the jab — or else. Church Militant's Martina Moyski explains how bishop Kevin Sweeney is joining the unholy litany of prelates doing the same.
Bp. Kevin Sweeney: "I wish to say a word to the priests of the diocese of Paterson: Thank you for your 'yes' to Jesus' call."
So went the thanks of Bp. Kevin Sweeney a year and a half ago, when he became the new bishop of Paterson.
But Tuesday, he issued a strong-arm missive to the priests of the diocese, "encouraging" them to get the jab and making clear it was "one step short of a mandate."
And the clincher — the bishop suggested unvaccinated priests might not be able to remain in active ministry.
This comes just days after leftist bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky forced two priests to publicly announce their unvaccinated status after Holy Mass.
Two unvaccinated priests: "The bishop has asked Fr. David and I ... to make an announcement that we are not vaccinated so people can decide if they want to attend Masses we are celebrating."
Cardinals are also waving big sticks in promoting the jab.
Timothy Dolan of New York instructed priests not to grant religious exemptions for the vaccine, saying it contradicts the pope.
Blase Cupich of Chicago followed suit, telling priests exemptions go against Church teaching.
Sweeney's email address reads "SHEPHERD@patersondiocese.org." But the faithful are finding the handle ironic given his recent heavy-handed missive.
The prelates are using the pope and Church teaching to justify their pronouncements. But in December 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clearly stated, "vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation" and "therefore, it must be voluntary."