In his sermon on Sunday, Nov. 21, the day when the Catholic Church celebrates Jesus Christ as king of Heaven and Earth, Rev. Ed Meeks, apparently in reference to COVID vaccination mandates, said "no earthly king or president or public health official ... gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies."
If you seriously believe that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, given to you by God, then "no earthly king or president or public health official or billionaire technocrat gets to dictate what we must put into our bodies – into these temples of the Holy Spirit," said Rev. Meeks. "Because that’s between us and God."
Is Meeks saying that getting vaccinated against COVID is a violation of the idea that one's body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit" and, thus, disrespects God? That's a harmful thing for a Catholic priest to say. Even though he's not exolicitly portraying himself as an anti-vaxxer, he's leaning hard into it -- which would seem to violate Pope Francis' dictate that getting the COVID vaccine is a "moral obligation." The pope is Meeks' ultimate boss.
Chapman did not explain why Meeks is differing so drastically from the teachings of the head of his church -- or even tell readers that Meeks was, in fact, doing so. Indeed, the only times that CNS has referenced the pope's statement is in two articles around Easter complaining that President Biden had endorsed the statement.