A few important COVID-related topics have arisen lately, and I want to add some links here to intelligent commentary on them.
First, a link showing that Catholics acted similarly to the 1918 influenza.
See how American Catholics Responded to 1918 Flu vs Coronavirus – Catholic Extension
Vaccines and “remote cooperation with evil”
The Catholic Church acknowledges that there is a problem with vaccines with a history of either manufacture or testing on cells derived from aborted fetuses from decades ago*, but she also says that this is remote and we can use them.
*Tested in such a way that they would not be used/usable in their current way without such testing, i.e. the current usage is dependent on that earlier testing.
Fr Matthew Schneider has some good advice, and debunks a few claims from Catholics opposed to the pope and the magisterium of the Church. Of note is the fact that a lot of commonly used medications will be thrown out the window if the anti-magisterium Catholics follow their argument to its logical conclusion. Which they don’t do, and won’t do, because they are just inconsistent Catholics (also known as cafeteria Catholics).
Note: as a virologist, I can confirm that Fr Matthew Schneider has an excellent understanding of the virology and immunology involved in COVID-19 and vaccines. That informs his sound moral theology which is in complete agreement with traditional Catholic moral theology, which includes recent statements by the Vatican and by Pope Francis. Please listen to him and not the cranks.
He also deals with crank clergy who have adopted misinformation. It’s scary how far misinformation has spread amongst legitimate clergy. Never mind the SSPX.
Fr Chad Ripperger is an FSSP priest. Some of his views have become highly questionable, which is not uncommon during the COVID era.
Religious and spiritual blackmail / manipulation
Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all, bishops, including Pope Francis, suspended the rule that says we are obliged to go to Mass in person each Sunday. Some bishops are now revocing that suspension, i.e. returning to the status where Catholics are obliged to go to Mass in person each Sunday, unless there is a good reason not to.
Good reasons not to – a) you’re sick, b) you don’t want to get COVID, and c) you don’t want to risk getting infected and spreading the virus to others in your community.
That empties the power behind the obligation to go to Mass on Sundays. The risk of spreading a dangerous virus, at this time in our pandemic before it is controlled or ameliorated, is more than sufficient to render that obligation null and void.
Yet some manipulative bishops and priests are playing psychological games with their flocks. Perhaps deliberate, perhaps just unthinkingly jumping on the bandwagon they see some of their less concerned colleagues waving from.
This is religious manipulation. This is emotional and spiritual blackmail.
That must stop. First, it gives Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, a bad name. Second, it creates unnecessary guilt. Third, they should find safer ways to go about their business, which is the salvation of souls. Solve the infection control problem, have more Masses, engage using online platforms.
The bishops should have treated Catholics like adults instead. Instead of suspending an obligation, they should have told everyone to behave according to the commandment to love thy neighbour, and according to their conscience informed by this. That’s adult religion.
Stop Berating the Laity Over In-Person Mass – Where Peter Is
Catholicism: “Safety Third” – Word on Fire
This makes a good point, but it directs the principle of not putting safety first to other aspects of modern life. And it warns about “a certain type of Christian who sees every act of defiance in the face of wicked secular authorities or errant Church hierarchs as akin to a holy martyrdom like St. Stephen’s in Acts 7” – these are the antimaskers and the COVID denialists and the priests manipulating their flocks.
99% survival and vaccines being 90% effective
It’s actually closer to 97.8% survival of diagnosed cases, but I’ll stick to the alleged 99% because calculations are easier.
Without vaccines: Of those infected, 99% survive, 1% die. In a country with 1 million people infected, that’s 10000 people who die.
With vaccines: 90% of infections are prevented. In a city with 1 million infections that would have happened, only 10% = 100000 people get infected with the vaccine. 1% of 100000 die = 1000 people die. 9000 lives saved. That would be 2.2 million lives saved thus far in the COVID pandemic had we been vaccinated from the beginning (theoretically – it’s not really possible because we couldn’t have had a vaccine before the virus was discovered.)
Note: this is without taking into account that those who get infected but were vaccinated will have a lower rate of severe illness and death, so the effect is even greater than shown above.
Also note: we still have a long way to go. Those 2.2 million lives that would have been saved were reduced from the 20 million lives that vaccines would have saved had we not had lockdowns and masks that prevented the pandemic from being 10x the size it has been.
This article covers this: Perspective On Bad ‘99% Covid-19 Survival Rate’ Arguments Using Weather [Forbes]