(Michael Linden knocks it out of the park in shooting down what the Remnant Faithful have understood all along – OF COURSE knowingly taking a “vaccine” derived from aborted babies, no matter how long ago the child was murdered, is morally illicit. Anyone who fancies themselves a “moral theologian” should humble themselves and receive Mr. Linden’s clear, easy to understand and thoroughly Catholic instruction. Note well, folks, how Mr. Linden applies exactly the concept we have been talking about in this space for YEARS: if your base premise is false, then all output from that false base premise can APPEAR to be true, and in formal logic those false corollary “truths”, and really the entire “if-then” consequence, are called “vacuous truths”. Funny how exactly the same issues just keep cropping up. You will want to watch this quick clip first….)
Archbishop Ladaria’s Lie
The recent Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) on the liceity of vaccines obtained from cell-lines derived from aborted fetuses is a masterpiece in deception. The words of our Lord, “the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light” (Luke, 16:8), undoubtedly apply to some members of the Roman Curia. And it is not surprising to observe that some Catholic commentators have also fallen for Archbishop Ladaria’s lie.
Mons. Ladaria’s CDF makes two arguments that are intertwined in order to maximize the deception: 1) the use of cell-lines from aborted fetuses is the lesser of two evils (the other evil being death from Sars-Cov-2) and 2) the use of cell-lines from aborted fetuses is a remote cooperation with the crime of abortion.
Mons. Ladaria’s deception consists in stating that he does “not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies”. His whole argument, however, rests also on the assumption that the data offered by the pharmaceutical companies are accurate and that the risk of death from Sars-Cov-2 is as high as the media is saying that it is.
- De duobus malis eligendum est minus malum
Saint Thomas Aquinas states that you should always choose the lesser of two evils (cf. e.g. In IV Sent. d. 6, q. 1, a. 1, arg. 4) – a moral principle that is obviously correct. The application of the rule to the particular case under examination, however, requires the exercise of prudence (cf. Summa theol. II-II, q. 47, a. 3). Only prudent men and women can judge whether a particular action fits the general rule according to which the lesser of two evils should be chosen. Their decision has to take into account the concrete circumstances of the action. In other words, it is impossible to assert the liceity of a vaccine regardless of its proven efficacy and of the risk posed by the disease. If you make abstraction from the concrete circumstances concerning the efficacy of the vaccine or the danger of the disease, you could still state with the CDF that,
- If vaccines developed from cell-lines derived from aborted fetuses are a lesser evil than becoming infected with Sars-Cov-2, then said vaccines are morally licit.
But in order to assert the truth of the conclusion (“these vaccines are morally licit”, as the CDF grants, cf. paragraph 3 of the Note), you would have to affirm the truth of the premise. The whole argument (i) is vacuously “true” if vaccines are not the lesser of two evil. It would be tantamount to state:
i*) if God does not exist/if Michael Linden is President Elect of the US/if Bergoglio is the pope, then vaccines developed from cell-lines derived from aborted fetuses are morally licit.
If the antecedent of the conditional is obviously false, the whole implication is “true”. But from the truth of the implication it is impossible to infer the truth of the consequent, as the CDF surreptitiously does. In classical logic, the definition of the propositional connective “if …. , then ….” if such that, if the antecedent is false, the whole conditional is “true” (logicians say it is “vacuously true”).
So, for any proposition A, B, the truth-value of the conditional “if A, then B” is the truth if “A” is false.
This is supposed to capture the meaning of the conditional connective “if… then…”. But from the truth of the conditional sentence “if A, then B”, you cannot infer that “B” is true, if you do not want to evaluate the truth of “A” – as the CDF allegedly does by refusing to take into account the actual efficacy of the vaccine or the risk posed by the disease. They purportedly ignore the truth-value of the antecedent (“A”), while inferring the truth of the consequent (“B”) from the truth of the consequence (“if A, then B”). In other words, they offer nothing but a sophism. It is probably useful to remind that it will be harder to trick the devil when he will come to ask for the soul of these sophists. (In Dante’s Comedy, a demon says to a soul whom he is taking to hell: “Forse/ tu non pensavi ch’io löico fossi!” “Perhaps/ you hadn’t thought that I was a logician” Inferno, 27.122-3).
In order to evaluate the possibility of applying the principle of the lesser evil to the case we are considering, we should establish a) how significant is the evil caused by the use of cell-lines from aborted fetuses and b) how significant is the evil caused by an infection from Sars-Cov-2.
It is probably pointless to remind the readers of Miss Barnhardt’s blog that this particular coronavirus is much less dangerous than what we are being told by the media. But even if it had a 100% mortality rate (which it doesn’t), moral theology would still see the active cooperation in a single abortion as the greater of the two evils, according to a principle clearly stated by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori in his Moralis Theologia:
Et etiam si mors matris esset moraliter certa, si non sumat remedium, nec etiam tunc auderem ei medicinam permittere, si aliqua rationabilis spes effulgeret, quod, mortua matre, proles superviveret et baptizari posset. Quia nemini licet, ob tuendam suam vitam temporalem, positive exponere proximum, in necessitate constitutum, periculo mortis aeternae (Lib. III, tr. IV, c. I, n. 394).
And even if the death of the mother were to be morally certain, if she were not to take a medicine [that will contextually cause the death of the fetus], I would still not dare to allow her to take the medicine, if there is some reasonable hope that, after the death of the mother, the child could survive and be baptized. For no one can positively expose their neighbour in need to the peril of eternal death in order to protect their own temporal life.
The reason is that we are not comparing the death of a limited number of children and the life of a possibly larger number of adults. We are comparing the deprivation of the possibility of eternal beatitude for a single human being with the possible longer life on this earth for a possibly large number of human beings.
For this reason, the CDF skillfully moves to a second argument.
2. Remote cooperation with evil
According to the CDF, “[t]he fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally licit is that the kind of cooperation in evil (passive material cooperation) in the procured abortion from which these cell lines originate is, on the part of those making use of the resulting vaccines, remote” (Note, paragraph 3). Some theologians have already argued that the CDF is wrong in maintaining that the cooperation is merely remote.
But even if we were to accept that the cooperation is merely remote, and the evil under consideration is lesser than the evil of the actual crime of abortion, one could wonder whether such passive remote cooperation is a lesser evil than contracting a virus that has a more than 99% survival rate. If you take into account the particular circumstances, as Saint Thomas says that prudence dictates, one can hardly see how the vaccine could be morally permissible.
Note that we are not merely talking about material goods, even though the CDF seems not to mention anything but life on this earth as what needs to be preserved. The very talk about the liceity of (remote) cooperation with abortion is, in and of itself, a spiritual evil, because it is scandalous to state that passive cooperation with abortion might be a lesser evil than a mild infection.
In other words, even if we were to NOT accept Fr. Ripperger’s claim that the cooperation with evil is not remote in the case of the vaccine (cf. n. 3), we would still have to apply prudence to establish whether a remote cooperation with one of the most abject crimes a human being can commit is a lesser evil than contracting a disease with over 99% survival rate. It is impossible to establish the liceity of the vaccine regardless of these considerations, despite the CDF’s claim that the note offers a moral assessment that makes abstraction from the concrete circumstances.
Behind the foggy statement of the CDF, it is not difficult to detect a very skillful lie.
But I dare say that not even Sir Humphrey Appleby would be able to get the concept across to a Jesuit working at the CDF these days. (video clip above)
A final point. Faith tells us that nothing falls short of the order of Divine Providence. If we were to get infected with a mortal disease and the cure were to be immoral, wouldn’t we have to infer that God is calling us to leave this life? And if this were to be so, why would we want to oppose Him?
 An example will suffice. Stefano Montanari, a pharmacologist who has been on the forefront of the battle to denounce the lies of the coronavirus narrative in Italy, is scandalized by the ‘Catholic’ acceptance of the vaccines developed from aborted fetuses. https://www.stefanomontanari.net/invito-allinferno/ Imagine how many souls of non-Catholic good doctors, who are still fighting for truth, would be converted if the shepherds were actually doing their job.