It was only a matter of time. The latest missive from Fr. Arnaud Sélégny, posted on the SSPX USA District website on 24 September 2021, is deeply disturbing for any Catholic with a sensus fidei and a well-formed conscience. It is full of the very same arguments we have been pummeled with for months now; but someone in Menzingen thought we needed to hear it all again. Unfortunately, it is even worse than the first two tries (last November and December) to convince us of the moral liceity of what have come to be termed abortion-tainted vaccines. Sounding like a spokesman for the Vatican, Fr. Sélégny writes that “the inevitable loss of one’s professional activity or social responsibility” permit us to partake of the tissue/DNA of murdered babies. Yes, you read that right: by “professional activity” he means your job, so if you are one of those countless Catholics who is hoping to receive a religious exemption from the Joe Biden vaccine mandate, beware! Fr. Arnaud Sélégny just threw you under the bus!
In his latest piece, Father Arnaud Sélégny plays the moderate, urging a “practical” stance in response to the Deathvaxx being shoved down our collective throats by bishops’ conferences, governments, and even private industry. Father wants us to abjure the “absolute and categorical positions” in favor of “a practical conduct that is up to everyone to adopt”. He considers the decision to take the vaccine as a “prudential” one, arguing that one’s circumstances should dictate how one responds to this evil attempt by the world to make compliant sheep of us all:
It must therefore be concluded that the fact of consenting to be vaccinated against Covid-19 may sometimes be an eminently prudent act, in the moral sense of the term. It is up to everyone to choose whether to do this or not, depending on their circumstances, after having taken the information or advice of people competent in their field.
Yes, it was indeed just a matter of time for Fr. Sélégny to promote the argument that basically holds that there are no moral absolutes with regard to this issue. We remind our readers that Francesca Romana said it best here. Her eloquent words in that memorable article, written in early April of this year, were a response to those who urged accommodation and — it turns out — anticipated the ever-softening position of bishops and clergy like Fr. Sélégny. Her words ring true more than ever:
. . the absolutists against a vaccine-derived from human-fetal-cell-experimentation (like myself) are being condemned as intolerant, unreasonable and rabidly anti-intellectual. I don’t get it. Isn’t the truth found in absolutes?. . . Is it not absolute Catholic truth that human fetal-cells-used in scientific experimentation come from a “human-being” – conceived and loved by God from the very moment of his or her existence – and made in His very image – known to God even before being formed in the womb? And that any present benefit through vaccines derived from the use of harvested aborted-human-beings, made in the image and likeness of God, has a taste – however remote – of cannibalism about it?
When Fr. Sélégny first published his original misguided opinion piece on the morality of the COVID-19 vaccines in December of 2020 (see his article here and our analysis of that unfortunate article here) most of us held our breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And now it has indeed dropped — with a very loud “thud”.
After reading Fr. Sélégny’s original vaccine-related piece on the SSPX USA District website last December, we requested and were granted a meeting with the local SSPX prior. He provided reasons for his Order’s conditional acceptance of the vaccines that seemed to us to have been taken from a talking point paper. A short time after that meeting, a “Vaccine Presentation” was held for the faithful in the first several days of the New Year (see our report here)
The presenting priest made it clear to us who were in attendance that (inter alia):
(a) you should trust your priests to give you the right moral guidance;
(b) moral theology is very complex, so since you folks in the pews are not trained as theologians, refer back to “a” above;
(c) over time, cooperation in evil can become remote rather than proximate.
We were appalled at, and extremely disappointed in, the pure arrogance and logical fallacies from that propaganda session. When no response was forthcoming from a letter we had written to the SSPX District Superior (in response to Fr. Sélégny’s December article), we decided on 22 February 2021 to write a three-page letter to Fr. Davide Pagliarani, SSPX Superior General. After showing evidence against Fr. Sélégny’s argument of “remote material” cooperation in evil, we made it clear that the disagreement over those concepts was actually secondary to the issue of encouraging medical “researchers” to do evil by accepting (the moral theology term is partaking of) their ill-gotten goods, thereby being accessory to their continuing sin. We asked Fr. Pagliarani to forget the myth that this evil industry involved a remote one or two murdered babies long ago. We showed him that the harvesting of stem cells and organs from babies extracted ex utero, who are butchered before being put out of their misery, has continued unabated. Here, we presented this evidence to our readers — the same evidence we included in our letter to the Superior General of the SSPX. Summarizing this aspect of the issue, we implored him:
[W]e can see how correct Bishop Athanasius Schneider was when he, along with four other prelates, warned us nearly three months ago that accepting abortion-tainted vaccines was a “concatenation” in evil. The definition of “concatenation” is a linkage that involves an “interdependence.” How true his words are! There is only one conclusion: this issue is certainly not remote, and now that we know the truth, it may even be formal cooperation in evil rather than material. One thing is certain: the Pontifical Academy for Life, the USCCB, and the SSPX — and any prelates or clergy who have guided naïve and ignorant souls to accept these evil vaccines — are complicit in the deaths of innumerable babies. This is infinitely worse than murder, as you know, Don Davide, for these children are denied the possibility of Baptism, and will likely not enjoy the Beatific Vision from Limbo. It is an outrageous crime against Almighty God!
Further on in our letter, we even predicted the current sad situation wherein Catholics find themselves being persecuted for upholding the teaching of Holy Mother Church. Remember, we wrote these words on 22 February, many months before Biden’s mandate:
Don Davide, this acceptance by the SSPX of the vaccine is really a betrayal! We say this because in the current political and hysterical climate, the far-reaching ramifications of such an acceptance will be disastrous. For example, employers will mandate vaccines, and when a Catholic employee explains that he cannot receive such a vaccine, the employer will go to the Vatican and USCCB websites and perhaps even to sspx.org. The employer will require the employee to demonstrate why his brand of Catholicism is different from the Vatican’s, the American bishops, and even the traditional SSPX. What a scandal! I ask you to evaluate whether this is not possible in light of what we have seen this last year. Moreover, this betrayal will affect familial relationships: many of us have children whom we are trying to bring back to the Faith, children who will consider parental guidance against illicit vaccines as one more “fanatical” opinion of marginalized Catholics these misguided offspring sought to escape. As St. John Fisher said, “the fort is betrayed by those who should have defended it.”
But instead of Fr. Pagliarani writing back to us, we received a letter from Fr. Arnaud Sélégny, informing us that the Superior General had asked his Secretary General to respond. Taking exception to our assertion to Fr. Pagliarani that “the arguments of ‘proportionate cause’ and ‘grave reason’” could readily be disproved by “any first-year Moral Theology student,” Fr. Sélégny at the very first threw a bit of a temper tantrum, writing: “I would like to know how a first-year moral theology student would refute my arguments.” He then provided a very strange statement about concatenation: “There can only be concatenation for a past and distant sin,” showing clearly that he absolutely refused (and continues to refuse) to recognize that we are, through this interdependent linkage (concatenation), creating and continuing a demand for the ghoulish work of medical “researchers.” For Fr. Sélégny, it is all about whether a decades-old act is remote or proximate, formal or material, with no room in his reasoning for the fact that when we accept abortion-tainted vaccines and pharmaceuticals, we are “partaking” of the evil-doer’s ill-gotten goods and encouraging him to continue his evil deeds. Father knows well that this is what moral theologians clearly describe as being “accessory to another’s sin,” but he refuses to acknowledge this. Why?
Fr. Sélégny’s letter of 29 March 2021 to us was full of logical fallacies:
— he cites the incident in Chapter 8 of St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, making a false moral equivalence that eating food blessed by idolaters is the same as taking into our bodies material that is per se evil. He should know better.
— he has a misunderstanding of the true dangers of rubella to expectant mothers that causes him to allow for the acceptance of these evil vaccines — which have some of the highest counts of fetal stem-cell material of all current vaccines;
— he actually admits that we are prolonging the fetal cell industry research, but with a wave of the hand, says that we have done our duty if we avoid “as much as possible” abortion-tainted vaccines.
From his disappointing response to our letter, it is truly a small step to the article published on September 24 on the sspx.org website. Clearly concentrating on the concerns over the safety of the vaccines, Fr. Sélégny tells us that we just have to appreciate the “circumstances,” since whether or not to be vaccinated is really a “prudential decision”. Read these words again, and please consider whether or not this is, in effect, the extension of the Vatican’s dubious marital “internal forum” into the sphere of cooperation in evil:
. . . it is up to everyone to decide, according to their prudential discernment, whether or not to be vaccinated. After investigation, reflection, or even consultation with competent persons to assess the objections mentioned above, everyone can freely make their decision, according to their knowledge and appreciation of the circumstances.
Ever the expert in the use of sophistry and logical fallacies — in this case, false moral equivalence — Fr. Sélégny pontificates: “It is just as abnormal to want to dictate to someone how to behave in this case as it is to want to compel them in matters of insurance, tobacco or even diet.” So, the decision to accept into one’s body vaccines that were tested and developed with, or contain, tissue and DNA from butchered babies is the same as the decision to purchase insurance! It is worse than sophistry — this reasoning is actually disingenuous. And speaking of sophistry, here is a real gem from Fr. Sélégny (sounding just like Francis, who has been telling us we must take the vaccine out of love for our neighbor):
Another necessity, that which arises from charity, sometimes requires making sacrifices to ensure the salvation or the good of the neighbor. It does not have the same force as the necessity imposed by justice, but it does exist and concerns every man in regard to his neighbor. However, if a health pass is needed to circulate, it may happen that the obligation to fulfill a duty of charity prompts us to agree to be vaccinated.
And here Fr. Sélégny shows us that he still does not get the fact that by accepting abortion-tainted vaccines, we are “accessory to another’s sin”:
Here it is a question not of an evil which one commits oneself, but of a sin committed by another: and this is why it is first necessary to reprove the past sin and not to consent to its malice… We must then make it clear that we do not consent to the sin from which we profit: this is why we will be careful to act only for a “proportionate” reason.
Thank you for that, Father. Yes, every time you, as a Catholic, get jabbed with an immoral vaccine, just tell the nurse that you don’t approve of the way it was developed, and that obviates all moral responsibility on your part. Oh yes, that has worked so well for us since we first read that guidance from the Pontifical Academy for Life and from the SSPX over fifteen years ago. In the meantime, David Daleiden has documented countless hours of recordings proving the increased harvesting of aborted baby organs. Additionally, there is a whole new stem cell line that is being exploited by medical “researchers”. But Fr. Sélégny would have you believe that you can sleep with a clear conscience by “making it clear (to whom?) that we do not consent to the sin from which we profit.” What a pathetic, spineless response to what is arguably the greatest evil of our day!
Had enough yet? If you have not tired from these snippets of Fr. Sélégny’s sophistry and moral mental gymnastics ad nauseam, read the entire article, if you dare. It is a tragic reminder that regardless of the auspicious beginnings of an organization (in this case, a faithful missionary order begun by the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre), it can always go sour. Ask any Jesuit! But this disappointing article is also a reminder that we must place our trust only in Almighty God, not in any one man or group of men. We would be remiss if we didn’t remind our readers that there are indeed some priests in the SSPX who are opposed to the vaccine and who, like Fr. Trevor Burfitt and Fr. Kevin Robinson, have successfully fought back against the tyrannical mandates in their states. But the willingness of the leadership — in Menzingen and in the various District houses — to accommodate this evil is too heartbreaking for words. And the propagation of such drivel as that of Fr. Sélégny is more than a little disheartening. God willing, those of us who knew and loved the Archbishop will have our prayers answered that his wayward sons will, on this most important issue, find their way back to the true teaching of the Gospels.