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Sunday, December 26, 2021
CNS Catholic Priest Columnist Pushes More Anti-Vaxxer Attitudes

We've documented how Rev. Michael P. Orsi uses his columns to sound much more like a right-wing activist than thet Catholic priest he's supposed to be. He has continued to place activism above religion in his CNS columns. He served up a dangerously contradictory message -- and perpetuated his previously expressed anti-vaxxer notions -- in his Oct. 21 column, praising medical professionals who have worked through the COVID pandemic, then fearmongering about COVID vaccines and cheering doctors and nurses who refuse to get vaccinated:

“Following the science” has also brought us to an ironic situation where we’re under extreme pressure to accept vaccines whose effectiveness is highly questionable, and for which evidence is accumulating that they can be harmful.

This is unprecedented. In the past, when some new vaccine or medication was seen to cause harm, it would be pulled from the market immediately.


Among those who are most hesitant about the vaccines — and most vocal in their skepticism — are medical professionals themselves. Numerous doctors are sacrificing hospital privileges over their refusals to be inoculated. Nurses are quitting their staff positions. We face an actual healthcare crisis because of it.

Many of these folks have gone on record with public statements, social media posts, and online videos warning about the vaccines. They’re making their case with frightening accounts of negative reactions, including heart damage, blood clotting, loss of physical capacities, and deaths, even among the young and otherwise healthy.

Suddenly, those who recently were hailed as heroes find themselves criticized and shunned, even mocked and belittled, by health agencies, hospitals, government officials, and the news media.

Perhaps worst of all, the general public — we who so often find ourselves as patients dependent on medical expertise — have been thrown into a state of utter confusion. The credibility of the entire healthcare profession has been seriously undermined.

Whose advise are we to trust, when there’s a multiplicity of conflicting claims and theories, when the recommendations and guidelines and official pronouncements of our purported authorities keep changing from day to day?

To whom can we turn when we need help and healing?

Orsi then lamented the "profoundly negative effect on the social and moral fabric of our country, on our sense of community, driving wedges between people, alienating friends and family members"-- but he qiuickly went conspiratorial, declaring that "it all feels highly contrived. It could very well be intentional — an element in some plan of those who seek to weaken our nation and diminish American influence in the world. And you can be sure there are plenty of such people, who are willing to do the devil’s work, who won’t “let a crisis go to waste,” as it’s been said. In fact, Satan is having a field day right now." It appears never to have occurred to Orsi that the people spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines are the ones doing the "devil's work" here.

Orsi concluded this column by serving up another contradictory message:

Make no mistake, this virus is real. It’s brought genuine tragedy. Colin Powell is only the latest high-profile example of the many folks who’ve died of COVID and its complications. I’ve known plenty of others.

Though I have received the vaccine myself, I take no personal position on its efficacy or safety. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so the feelings I express are based only on what I hear and read. I can’t offer definitive proof of my own, one way or the other.

I simply don’t know.

It does seem to me, however, that this pandemic is being exploited to achieve objectives that have very little to do with protecting public health — and much more to do with socialist-inspired ideological dreams.

Doctors, nurses, and others who are resisting the mad vaccine rush are doing an inestimable service in raising critical questions at this critical time. They’re forcing us to take a closer look at an increasingly desperate situation.

Once again they are proving themselves to be real heroes.

Orsi is trying to have it both ways -- admitting that "the virus is real" and that he got vaccinated while trying to take "no personal position on its efficacy or safety" and praising doctors and nurses who have fallen for conspiracy theories and endangering others and themselves by not getting vaccinated. But if Orsi is vaccinated, he has, in fact, taken a "personal position" on the issue, and he's acting irresponsibly and hypocritically by encouraging anti-vaxxer attitudes. He's trying to make "heroes" out of people who aren't heroes at all.

By remaining deliberately obtuse about the vaccines' safety and efficacy, Orsi is contributing to the exploitation of the pandemic -- not by "socialist-inspired ideological dreams" but by radical right-wing reactionaries who care even less about public health. That's a place no Catholic priest should choose to be, but that's exactly where Orsi is.

Orsi echoed this attitude in his Nov. 9 column, in which he huffed: "What we’ve always assumed to be basic rights have been seriously eroded. The issue of vaccine mandates is only the most visible area in which the assault on personal autonomy is taking place. At any time we could be called upon to defend ourselves, our families, or our beliefs."

Orsi is again sounding like a right-wing activist, not a Catholic priest, pretending that public health doesn't matter and individual freedom trumps everything.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:25 PM EST

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