DELANO, Minn. — The Sunday bulletin of St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church offered the usual mass schedule, upcoming events, and budget items, but this edition also included an anti-vaccination message from the pastor.
In a five-paragraph op-ed condemning the COVID-19 vaccines, Father Paul Kubista cites many popular misleading stats about vaccine side effects and deaths, gene therapy, and the power of natural immunity over vaccination.
The article quotes experts who disagree with the vast consensus of medical experts on COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy. One quote states “the media and government are corrupted.”
The passage ends with " ... God must have protected us from it by putting safeguards in our immune system."
It's an example of some churches taking a stance against COVID vaccines, something the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis does not appreciate.
"None of the priests or bishops in the Archdiocese is an expert in public health, infectious disease, epidemiology, or immunology,” said Father Michael Tix, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Parish Services for the Archdiocese. “Homilies or bulletin columns that evaluate specific medical advice or theories are beyond their expertise and are both irresponsible and inappropriate."
In a phone conversation, Father Kubista explained why he wrote the bulletin.
“I just felt obligated as pastor,” said Kubista. “I really care for [the parish’s] wellbeing and care for them and I felt obligated to say something with my concerns of the vaccine.”
When asked if he felt any of the information in his article could be false or misinterpreted, he said he felt the experts he cited were well informed.
“There's the narrative that you should take the vaccine and there's people that say you shouldn't take the vaccine. So obviously individuals have to choose based upon the information they have. I was trying to give them information so they are more informed,” said Kubista.
I sent Father Kubista a number of links to reputable studies and articles disproving several claims in his article. He, with kindness, agreed to read them.
Regarding the stance of the Catholic Church on the use of vaccines, the Archdiocese sent this statement:
“The Archdiocese has repeatedly called to the attention of priests and faithful the December 21, 2020 document issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the morality of using COVID-19 vaccinations, which concludes, without reference to any specific vaccine, that, “In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.” The Archdiocese has also frequently communicated Pope Francis’ observation that receipt of the vaccine can be an “act of love.”