04 August 2021, The Tablet

Catholic priest warns against Covid vaccines

Catholic priest warns against Covid vaccines

A doctor draws up a vaccine into a hypodermic syringe prior to administration to a patient.
Stephen Barnes/Medical / Alamy

Parishioners of a Catholic Church in Gosport, Hampshire are being urged not to receive Covid vaccinations that are “bio-terrorism” – statements that go directly against NHS advice and contravene the recommendations of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. 

In an email letter to parishioners of St Mary’s Church, Gosport, in the Diocese of Portsmouth, Fr George Roth, a Franciscan priest that serves the parish, warns:  “Do all that you can to avoid the vaccination! Your life could be in danger”, and includes links to denunciations of the Covid-19 vaccination programme from LifeSite News and former medical practitioner Vernon Coleman. 

The same links are also on the website of St Mary’s Church on a blog written by Fr Roth. The video of Vernon Coleman speaking – described as a doctor on the St Mary’s site, although he is no longer a registered doctor – has him saying: “Jabbing adults with this toxic brew is madness.” The LifeSite News page has an interview with American cardiologist Dr Peter McCullough who describes the Covid vaccination programme as  “propagandised bioterrorism by injection”. 

The information put out by Fr Roth has upset St Mary’s parish priest, Fr Pio Idowu, and among those dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic on behalf of the bishops' conference. Canon Christopher Thomas, its general secretary, said: “The position of the Conference is the promotion of vaccine take-up and we have consistently supported the Government position on this.” 

Jim McManus, public health adviser to the bishops, warned that posting such material could cause churches to be legally liable if someone caught Covid because of advice they were given. 

Publication of Fr Roth’s views is the second time in the past fortnight that the Diocese of Portsmouth has become caught up in a controversy over Covid-19. Last week its Bishop, Philip Egan, urged everyone in his diocese to return to Sunday Mass, despite the bishops’ conference’s judgement that the continuing threat of Covid means that it is not advisable for everyone to do so. 

Bishop Egan created an Association of the Faithful, The Marian Franciscans of Gosport and they minister the two parishes of St Joseph’s and St Mary’s, where they offer Mass in the Tridentine Rite. As The Tablet went to press St Mary’s parish priest, Fr Pio Idowu, said he did not want the parish linked to Fr Roth’s claims and urged parishioners to read the Vatican document on vaccination morality. 

The Diocese of Portsmouth was asked to comment. Fr Roth declined to do so. 

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