Recently, our Archbishop Byrnes was drug back into the local news, first to solicit his comments relative to the ACLU lawsuit which seeks to get rid of certain Guam laws regulating abortion, and next, in regards to his published guidance regarding the morality of Covid-19 vaccinations.
At the center of Archbishop Byrnes instruction in regards to the vaccine, is guidance published by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)
"Based on the criteria, the congregation held that “it is morally acceptable” to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available.”
In Archbishop Byrnes instruction, the quote from the CDF is followed by the superscript number "3" and the footnote notes that the quote is actually from a publication issued by the Pontifical Academy for Life.
For us Catholics, once upon a time, anything with the adjective "pontifical" meant you could trust it. But not any more.
In 2017, Pope Francis appointed a noted pro-abortion theologian to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a certain Nigel Biggar, an Anglican professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxford, who has in the past supported legalized abortion up to 18 weeks and has expressed qualified support for euthanasia.
So while Archbishop Byrnes can hardly be faulted for falling in line with the Vatican, conscientious Catholics are forced to look beyond not just a letter from their bishop, but beyond stuff employing the word "pontifical," and even "Vatican!"
To make the point, let's rephrase the instruction from the Pontifical Academy for Life as copied by the CDF and thereafter copied by Archbishop Byrnes and distributed to the lay faithful of Guam:
"Based on the criteria, the congregation held that “it is morally acceptable” to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from Jews murdered by the Nazis “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available.”
Earlier in the instruction from Archbishop Byrnes, Byrnes quotes the Chairman of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops Committee on Doctrine who writes:
"Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development or productions. They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. This is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote. The burden of this important battle cannot and must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population."
You can be forgiven if you are left with a big "HUH?"
First we are told that Pfizer and Moderna did not have any connection to abortion "at any level of design, development or production." And then we are told, "oh wait, well, cell lines from an aborted child were used in a lab test.
So that means Pfizer and Moderna DO have a connection to abortion. And the chairman goes on to actually say: "this is thus a connection" (to abortion). But it's okay because it is "relatively remote."
So it's okay to use the cell lines of a dead Jew murdered by the Nazis in a World War II concentration camp because, well, it was so long ago and the murder of that Jew is "relatively remote."