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Formation Program

April 2021

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Opening Prayer

Lord, teach us to pray:
    “Our Father…”

The Reading
(To be read by the Leader)

   My Brothers, by the time you read this, I pray that many of you have already been vaccinated. You are men of faith, but you need to remain healthy in order to continue to be the Catholic witnesses that God has called to be those men they call Knights. Last month we spoke about the fact that it is morally justifiable to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. We came to understand that it is “morally permissible given the remoteness of the recipient from the original act of abortion, the scarcity of ethical alternatives, and the grave threat that Covid-19 poses to public health.” The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales stated: Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this, unless one decides too self-isolate.”Further they noted: “Catholics may in good conscience, refuse a particular vaccine but continue to have a duty to protect others from infection.”

   For the purpose of information, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both Messenger RNA vaccines in which molecules are chemically synthesized. The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccines are sourced from cell lines that were originally abortion-derived. This according to the Lozier Institute, a pro-life institute based in the U.S., which have studied a number of vaccines under development. Dr. Moira McQueen, the executive director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute has been a key advisor to the Catholic Bishops, regarding the morality of the vaccine. Dr. McQueen states the following: “The official teaching is saying then, if ethical (synthetic) vaccines are not truly available, then take this vaccine…The level of moral cooperation by people in 2020 is what the Church would call remote. Here we are talking about a pandemic. The idea is because of two factors, lack of personal responsibility for an original action, yet facing serious illness and needing to protect yourselves and your children. They will not say the action is right in the fullest sense, but they do say it is justified. If an ethical vaccine comes along, you have to choose to use that one.”

   Catholic teaching on the “common good”needs also be a factor in our thought and conscience process when making vaccination decisions. It may seem to be acceptable to refuse a vaccination, providing that the individual plans to stay at home and continuously self-isolate. Certainly, this would not seem a very viable alternative.

   Catholic teaching on the “common good”needs also be a factor in our thought and conscience process when making vaccination decisions. It may seem to be acceptable to refuse a vaccination, providing that the individual plans to stay at home and continuously self-isolate. Certainly, this would not seem a very viable alternative. Alternately it would seem unreasonable to not vaccinate and go out into society when one does not know if they are a carrier or not. “There is very much the reality of an individual conscience decision, which should always be respected. But that person always has to be thinking about her or his responsibility to everybody else.” Hence the importance of the common good principal. When I consider the average age of my Brother Knights, and the potential severity of the outcomes, should they become ill with the Covid-19 virus; I would not wish to be sitting at a meeting with them not knowing if I was a potential source of life and death infection for them.

Alternately it would seem unreasonable to not vaccinate and go out into society when one does not know if they are a carrier or not. “There is very much the reality of an individual conscience decision, which should always be respected. But that person always has to be thinking about her or his responsibility to everybody else.” Hence the importance of the common good principal. When I consider the average age of my Brother Knights, and the potential severity of the outcomes, should they become ill with the Covid-19 virus; I would not wish to be sitting at a meeting with them not knowing if I was a potential source of life and death infection for them.

The Reflection
(To be read by the Leader)

   Brothers, for two months we have spoken about the pros and cons of vaccines, of being vaccinated or not. There is one other inoculation we will not have to pre-book or stand in line for. That is the prayer vaccine our Lord provides all of us with. Praying for an end to the pandemic, praying for our family members during these difficult times many not prevent the spread of the virus in a practical way. Prayer will give us the graces we need to sanitize regularly, to social distance at all times and to wear a mask when and where appropriate. We are all tired of this Covid journey, but our faith is what gives us hope, and hope does not disappoint us. Let us as Brother Knights, pray ourselves to clarity of conscience,understanding and acceptance. Let us pray ourselves to the light that is shining at the end of this long tunnel. That light of course is our Lord Jesus, who is “the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father accept through Him, (Jn. 14, 6)”

Hope does not disappoint us. (Rom 5, 5)

Meditation Period

(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)

Fraternal Sharing

(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)

Closing Prayer
(Recited by all)

Let us pray:
 “Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.