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The Church's promotion of the China virus experimental gene therapy is becoming more aggressive in the archdiocese of St. Louis. From parish vax clinics to job threats, the Catholic hierarchy wants St. Louisans to get the jab. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb is investigating the latest pressure tactic.
St. Louis Catholics seeking a religious exemption from taking the vaccine are getting no support from the archdiocese.
This new front in the vaccine wars began developing last week.
Reporter: "SSM Health is joining a growing list of hospital systems to require staff to get vaccinated."
The only way to avoid the vax mandate from the Catholic hospital system SSM is to apply for a religious exemption.
The exemption application says SSM might "need to obtain additional information and/or documentation about your religious practices."
So an SSM nurse contacted her parish priest, Fr. Robert Burkemper, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in St. Charlies, Missouri, and asked if he would sign the exemption.
I asked him if he would sign my religious exemption, and he said, "On what grounds?" And I said, "On the grounds that this injection was developed and then tested on aborted fetal tissue cell lines," and he immediately said, "The bishop says it was okay." And I was like, "Okay ..." I kind of didn't even know what to say to that. I was asking for his support.
Burkemper believes he can't support her exemption because the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has OK'ed the vaccines.
Burkempter: "I'm not willing to say the bishops are wrong. I won't contradict the bishops. If she would like to call her bishop and ask him for an exemption that would be fine."
A November 2020 USCCB memo speaks directly to the concern: "Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching."
Instead, the bishops say, the connection to tainted cell lines is remote, there are no alternatives to the vaccine and there is a serious risk to health.
Meanwhile nurses, college students and other American workers are caught in the middle. Their consciences won't allow them to take the tainted gene therapy, but there will be life-changing consequences if they don't.