Above, in this October 24, 2020 photo — a year ago now — Vatican Swiss Guards wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 as they stand attention at the Vatican. Now, three Vatican Swiss Guards who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 upon Holy See orders have left the storied corps to return to Switzerland. A Swiss Guard official, Lt. Urs Breitenmoser told The Associated Press on October 3 that all Swiss Guards were asked to be vaccinated “to protect their health and that of the others they come into contact as part of their service” (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

    Letter #133, 2021, Tuesday, October 12: Swiss Guard

    This is the story about a Swiss man, a Swiss Guard, who has tried to follow his conscience with regard to a Vatican requirement to be vaccinated to remain in the employ of the Holy See.

    So it is a story of conscience, of the struggle to form and instruct and guide a conscience, but also, finally, of the decision of Vatican officials even to seek to compel the assent of a doubtful conscience… and for this reason, it is an important part of the larger story of the Church in our times…    

    Open letter from a Swiss Guard who resisted mandatory vaccination in the Vatican (link)

    On October 8, four days ago, the Italian Catholic website Renovatio 21 (published by a group of fervent Italian Catholics who seek a renewal of orthodox Catholic faith in the 21st century) published an open letter from a former Swiss Guard who refused to submit to the vaccination obligation now in force throughout the Vatican State. (The letter was also posted on Marco Tosatti’s Stilum curiae website, here.)

    The young Swiss Guard therefore lost his job, but he is keen to finally make his Catholic voice heard.

    His name is Pierre-André Udressy.

    First, a bit of background, then, what Pierre-André had to say.

    ***

    Here is a background story from Associated Press on the vaccination requirements in Vatican City State.

    3 Swiss Guards who refused vaccination return to Switzerland (link)

    October 3, 2021

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Three Vatican Swiss Guards who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 upon Holy See orders have voluntarily left the storied corps to return to Switzerland, a Swiss Guard official said Sunday.

    Lt. Urs Breitenmoser told The Associated Press that all Swiss Guards had been asked to be vaccinated “to protect their health and that of the others they come into contact with as part of their service.”

    “Three members of the Guard have chosen not to adhere to that request, voluntarily leaving the corps,” Breitenmoser said in a statement.

    Three other guardsmen are temporarily suspended from duty while they await vaccination, he said.

    (…)

    Pope Francis, who has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has repeatedly stressed the altruistic and health value of receiving the shots during the pandemic.

    Breitenmoser noted that last month the head of the Pontifical Commission of Vatican City State had issued an ordinance that people entering Vatican areas need either to be vaccinated or have a recent negative test. That includes tourists wanting to see the Vatican’s treasures, including Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

    [End, AP story]

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    And here is the open letter from the Swiss Guard, first published on October 8, four days ago.

    ***

    The open letter

An open letter in response to the Vatican authorities, to its supreme head the Holy Father Pope Francis, to the Vatican Secretariat of State, to the institutions of the City, to the Command of the Pontifical Swiss Guard (link)

    By Pierre-André Udressy (former Swiss guard)

    After having received a registered letter dated August 20, 2021, while serving as a member of the Pontifical Swiss Guard — a registered letter which followed the letter from the Secretariat of State of August 10, 2021 [which called for the vaccination of all Vatican employees by October 1] and which had as a subject the vaccination against COVID-19 — I want to answer as I have been required to answer, as have all unvaccinated people up to this day.

    For the following September 15, these “interested persons” [Editor’s note: the unvaccinated in Vatican City] were asked to contact the responsible staff in order to organize their vaccination, or possibly to send a medical certificate certifying the inability to be vaccinated.

    It is important to me to follow up on this “Call for vaccination against COVID,” according to my duty.

    As for my physical state, at the moment and in the opinion of the doctors, I have no fear of an inability to vaccinate. I therefore have no medical certificate to present. I should therefore respond to the appeal by signing up for the vaccination.

    However, I must reflect on this choice, not with prejudices “for or against” any vaccination in general. For me it is a question of understanding that I should be “for this vaccine, administered under such conditions, to this population.”

    1) In fact, this is the very principle of any vaccine: the prevention of a disease by preparing the body to acquire immunity, taking into account the risks and benefits. “Doubt is the beginning of knowledge.”

    2) Each vaccine carries risks, requires caution, especially when it has not been sufficiently tested, according to the urgency or the state of the patient. Unfortunately we have to admit the reality, and take adverse events into consideration.

    The frequency of fatal accidents after vaccination is “underestimated,” according to the Director of the University of Heidelberg, Peter Schirmacher, who adds: “The vaccine is the cause of death in 30-40% of autopsies of recently vaccinated people.” But “an acceptable risk is the one that is accepted.”

    3) A danger may have to be accepted for a greater good, no doubt, and general immunity might be this greater good.

    However, according to Didier Febvrel, director of the Marseille health service, “ensuring that the vaccine does not present any danger and that it is the decisive weapon against the virus derives from a utopian and military communication of the last century which coincides with propaganda.”

    4) Unfortunately, many times in the history of accidents they have taken place precisely because of the politicization of vaccination campaigns, such as with hepatitis B, rubella in England, the H1N1 crisis, the POR Walkefield affair, the disappeared chickenpox but for which we continue to vaccinate with fatal risks …

    And in all of this, the only problem would be that bad publicity for the vaccine ensues! So the recalcitrant are more and more numerous and some vaccines considered important are avoided …

    And the defense of the vaccine is certainly not guaranteed by a universal obligation of the same, an obligation already decided on 12 September 2019 (before the “pandemic”) at the Global vaccination summit.

    So we are told that we would have collective immunity, vaccination coverage after 75% of the population is vaccinated, “except that this is not science. For the same microbe, the contagiousness is different from one strain to another. In reality, the very idea, apparently very logical, that the more a population is vaccinated, the less the virus circulates, is not entirely correct”, said Dr. Didier Raoult, of the IHU of Marseille, one of the leading infectious disease scientists.

    5) Even according to this ideology, one could therefore leave a part of the population free not to be vaccinated, but this is not the case today, the vaccinations must be something global, without limits or discernment. But how can we hope for immunity if the vaccinated themselves carry the virus?

    “Although vaccination is advancing at an increasing pace, the virus is not going to disappear and patients will need safe and effective treatment,” said Stelle Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

    6) So during this year, I would like to point out, all the members of the Swiss Guard who did test positive for COVID-19 had been vaccinated, at most a few months earlier. And what about Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, now in a very critical pandemic situation?

    7) Dear authorities, in response to the pressure placed on us, I could have defended myself with medical certificates, declaring that I was immune from contracting the disease at the end of last year.

    Certainly one cannot be better immunized than by healing from the disease itself. I could therefore have justified in full logic that I did not need a vaccine: but even this would not have been accepted!

    And in any case it is preferable for me to testify in full truth, without hypocrisy, what it is my duty to testify and thus support all those who allow themselves to think differently, to react intelligently and avoid with conviction what is not reasonable.

    How many of my dear colleagues have unfortunately succumbed to a medical treatment to which they did not give full consent, compelled by force, to regain their freedoms? For me it is essential to defend Freedom with conviction.

    Why should I oblige myself to something of which I am aware of the absurdity? Who could oblige me?

    8) In this regard, I quote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which on December 21, 2020 said: “it appears evident to the practical reason that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.

    What do we need to understand? Isn’t this the indication that comes to us from the Catholic Church?

    9) In every way, and above all in the most hypocritical ways, people have been frightened under the pretext of prevention. What really frightens are those who take advantage of this “window of opportunity,” who were waiting for the reconstruction of a world, the abolition of neighborhood society, the denaturalization of the human species with the proliferation of specific laws (early abortion, human/animal chimera embryos, PMA / GPA).

    What is even more frightening is the forgetting of Life where Life should be defended! In such a dramatic situation, people would expect nothing other than spiritual support, in such a crisis only the Faith could allow people to face the situation.

    Unfortunately, however, the greatest scandal is right there, it has come to the point of suppressing the spiritual and sacramental support and to abandon people in their moment of need.

    The situation was certainly difficult to manage, there was the threat of governments, but in many places the Church took the initiative and it is the same ecclesiastical authorities who have refused to bring supernatural aid to people in difficulty.

    The Vatican has set the example! There would be occasion here to report so many anecdotes which would prove the absurdity of the decisions taken by men of little faith.

    Several times, during visits, during explanations of the history of the Church, we were told us about the faith of the Fathers, the commitment of the Holy Church during the great plagues, without being able to justify the absurdity of the current situation.

    How many times have we asked ourselves these questions when we admired so many concrete episodes in the history of Rome and all of Italy. Strangely, the moral is just pretense, it seems that in case of urgency everything is allowed.

    10) What about the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith mentioned above? Does it have no significance, even juridical, in the Vatican?

    What about this obligation against the conscience of honest people?

    What about the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life of June 5, 2005?

    This document clearly states that illicit vaccines, prepared from cells from aborted human fetuses, must be combated, while admitting that their use could be accepted in case of need.

    “The doctors and fathers have a responsibility to use alternative vaccines (if any) (cf. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 74), exerting any pressure on the political authorities and health systems so that other vaccines without moral problems are available. They should invoke, if necessary, conscientious objection to the use of vaccines produced by cellular strains of human fetal abortion origin.

    Therefore, according to the doctrine of the Holy See, certain vaccines are clearly defined as illicit, at least as regards their production, and although it is tolerated to use them in case of need, it is said that it is necessary to fight the governments that distribute such vaccines.

    Equally they should oppose by all means (in writing, through the various associations, the mass media, etc.) vaccines that do not yet have alternatives without moral problems, by pressing for alternative vaccines not linked to a human fetus abortion to be prepared and asking for a rigorous legal control of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.

    Even the document of the Academy of July 31, 2017, while being more permissive with regard to the use of these products, does not fail to recall the necessary “common commitment to see to it that every vaccine has not connection in ist preparation with material which originates in an aborted fetus.”

    Now the Vatican, the institution of the Church, has chosen the Pfizer vaccine, tested on abortive cell lines. What to think? The Vatican even imposes the vaccine on all its employees, although as a sovereign state, it would have the possibility of choosing products not contaminated by abortion, which do exist.

    As a Catholic who follows the Magisterium, would I have a duty to fight against the vaccination choices of the Vatican City? If you read the documents cited, you have to answer yes.

    11) Yes, so far I have followed the evolution of these restrictions, of the vaccination obligation, and I have endured up to now, as a victim, all that we have had to undergo.

    I have known all the pressure that has been progressively and subversively put in place to convince people to discharge the responsibility that they do not want to assume.

    I have witnessed situations of injustice, all the more oppressive the more they weighed on people with a more difficult fate than mine, despite being exhausted myself. I endured all this to the end trying to serve the best.

    By intuition of my conscience and after having prayed I was prompted to discern things in this way, and persuaded of my duty, thus defending Freedom and thus avenging people who have been severely tested.

    What is certain in all this is that what we are experiencing no longer has in it anything human or even less Christian, and it is truly intolerable to see the holy Vatican City reach this point!

    May St. Michael deign to always protect and defend the Holy City!

    Acriter et fideliter

    Pierre-André Udressy

    Former Swiss Guard and presently an indigent citizen of the Vatican

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    Here is another report on this matter from October 4 by British Vaticanist Edward Pentin of The National Catholic Register.    

    3 Swiss Guards Resign, Commander Reportedly Threatened as Vatican Enforces Vaccine (link)

    The Register has learned that since the Spring, the Vatican has been holding seminars to “indoctrinate” the guardsmen to take the anti-Covid vaccine.

    (continued below)

    Two Swiss guards pose for a photo wearing masks amid the COVID pandemic (photo: Edward Pentin)

    By Edward Pentin

    Vatican

    October 4, 2021

    VATICAN CITY — Three Swiss Guards have voluntarily left the Pope’s prestigious army corps and another three have been temporarily suspended after they refused to comply with compulsory anti-Covid vaccination being imposed by the Vatican.

    Lieutenant Urs Breitenmoser, the spokesman for the Pontifical Swiss Guard, confirmed the resignations on Sunday to Swiss media, saying they had taken place “on a voluntary basis” and adding that three other unvaccinated guardsmen are now provisionally suspended from service until the vaccination cycle is complete.

    The mandate, which Breitenmoser said is in line “with those adopted by other armed forces in the world,” follows announcements from other military leaders, including those of the United States, who have imposed mandatory vaccines on their armed forces.

    The Register has learned that as many as 30 Swiss Guards had been resisting the mandatory jabs as recently as July, but most eventually complied, including the Guards’ commander, Colonel Christoph Graf.

    He reluctantly received the vaccine only a few days ago after being “threatened,” according to several sources within the corps.

    The Register has asked the Vatican whether it can confirm the allegation.

    The guardsmen who resigned are young recruits and not career members of the corps serving as guardsmen over a longer period, a source told the Register.

    Since Oct. 1, a green pass has required Vatican staff, residents, and visitors to show they have been vaccinated, had a negative test, or recently recovery from Covid.

    According to the Vatican, stricter rules apply to the Swiss Guard as they are in closer contact with the Pope.

    The move also follows Pope Francis’ frequent promotion of the vaccines. He has called them “an ethical obligation,” and an “act of love;” on the papal flight back from Slovakia, he told reporters that “everyone in the Vatican is vaccinated except a small group that we are studying how to help.”

    An informed Vatican source told The Register that since the Spring, the Vatican has been trying to “indoctrinate and convince” the young guardsmen to take the vaccine, holding special “seminars” in the barracks led by Dr. Tiziana Sansolini, a physician from the Vatican’s health and hygiene directorate.

    But such pressure and compulsion appears to go against a doctrinal note issued last December by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which stated that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

    Many Catholic faithful have resisted taking the vaccines for a variety of reasons including the fact that they are abortion-tainted, are experimental in nature, and have reportedly had harmful side effects in a minority of cases, particularly for young people who are at the least risk of contracting the virus.

    Such pressure to take the vaccine in the Vatican has emerged despite the small state having been minimally affected by the virus.

    Since the crisis began, Vatican City State has reported zero deaths within its jurisdiction and just 27 reported cases, although most of them (11) were within the Swiss Guard.

    The Vatican’s last reported case was in October 2020.

    Dr. Vito Del Deo, a physician who served as a medic in Italy’s Alpine Artillery Regiment Elite Corp, was disappointed by the mandate being imposed on the papal armed force.

    “The Swiss Guards have sworn to serve and protect the Vatican and the Pope’s life from any threat for over one thousand years,” he told The Register. “It’s about time their care, respect and loyalty was reciprocated by the Pope and every member and citizen of the Vatican to the same degree.”

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