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WESTMINSTER, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - Britain is conscripting clergy to promote abortion-tainted COVID-19 vaccines, as the government forces a counter-narrative to combat voices raising ethical and safety concerns about the jab.
Catholic priests, instructed by bishops, are publishing notes from the government's Coronavirus Places of Worship Task Force (CPWTF) on parish websites and newsletters, citing "strong encouragement from the government to counteract" vaccine dissent in churches.
Father Neil McNicholas of St. Mary & St. Romuald Parish in Yarm, Yorkshire, wrote in his Jan. 17 newsletter: "We have been asked to encourage parishioners to accept the opportunity to be vaccinated, and at the same time to strongly counter misinformation on social media regarding the vaccine."
In an email to clergy in the diocese of Brentwood, Bp. Alan Williams spelled out "highlights of the discussion" from the CPWTF meeting of Jan. 11, where "the Catholic Church was represented by Cdl. [Vincent] Nichols and Prof. Jim McManus along with Canon Chris Thomas."
"There should be explicit encouragement of community members to take up the offer of vaccines whenever it is offered to an individual," the government's propaganda to churches urges, pushing faith communities "to encourage and support the rollout of the vaccines."
"Evidence across the country is showing that there is 'vaccination hesitancy' amongst certain groups of people, in particular the BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) community, because of misinformation on social media," reads the Catholic version of the CPWTF's notes.
Catholic clergy should stress the fact of Pope Francis' vaccination "along with his own personal endorsement for vaccination," the update insists.
The notes also provide a link to a report that quotes the pontiff saying: "There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated."
"We raised the issue of vaccination for hospital chaplains and care home chaplains, as well as clergy in general, and this will be followed up by email," the CPWTF brief adds.
Popular British writer Nick Donnelly told Church Militant clergy were abusing their God-given authority by acting as vaccine salesmen.
"Those clergy who are bluntly pushing the government message 'Take the Vaccine' are riding roughshod over this moral issue of cooperating with the evil of abortion," warned Donnelly, a Catholic deacon in the diocese of Lancaster.
Noting how the recent Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) ruling allowed for conscientious objections against the vaccine, Donnelly said:
More seriously, it can become an abuse of the authority of clergy given them by Christ to govern, sanctify and teach in His Name when they override any conscientious misgivings the faithful may rightfully have about benefiting from abortion. They are ministers of Christ, not agents of the State.
In an extended vaccine exhortation, Fr. McNicholas compared the COVID-19 vaccine to the safe immunizations against TB, cholera, smallpox, polio, typhoid, tetanus, yellow fever, diphtheria, measles, German measles, mumps and meningitis he was required to take when traveling to Africa and the Middle East.
McNicholas attacked anti-vaxxers as malicious and as "people whose sole intent is to try to dissuade others from having the vaccine by spreading false and unsubstantiated information about what they claim are the dangers of the vaccine."
"The more people who for whatever reason choose not to be vaccinated (so leaving themselves open to the risk of becoming very ill and possibly dying) the more gaps there will be in the defensive wall for the virus to exploit," he threatened.
Meanwhile, Protestant and evangelical church leaders have also expressed enthusiasm for promoting the State's version of a "safe and effective" vaccine.
John Stevens, national director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) and a zealous vaccine promoter, said "the government is seeking to counter myths and conspiracy theories about the vaccines by producing accurate information."
BAME communities were suspicious of the vaccine because of "a general distrust of government and Pentecostal approaches to faith, which prefer to look to God rather than seeking medical intervention," Stevens remarked.
The Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Church of England have turned several churches and cathedrals into vaccination centers — while public worship has been suspended in a number of these buildings.
"One arm at a time, together, we are offering hope which will change the world," trumpeted Methodist minister Joanne Cox-Darling, who has offered her church in Codsall as a vaccine center.
"We are finally able to use our building for the restoration and healing of the world — and it is not a privilege we hold lightly. This is the calling of the kingdom of God, for which we are happy to get involved with," says Cox-Darling.
Dave Brennan, executive director of pro-life Brephos told Church Militant:
If these church leaders put a fraction of the energy they are putting into supporting this government initiative into opposing the government-sanctioned baby genocide, we might actually be making a dent in the real evil of the day.
But unfortunately, we are more swayed by the priorities of the government and culture around us than by the burning concerns of the Word of God. And we'd sooner be the government's best friends than confrontational prophets.
While the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was developed using kidney tissue cell lines (HEK 293) from a baby girl aborted in 1972, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine uses the HEK-293 cell line in confirmatory testing, i.e., to "confirm that messenger RNA was properly coding for the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus."
In December 2020, the CDF issued a statement "on the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines" clarifying that "vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary."