Vaccine news keeps on, keeping on, as they say.
There is Bill Gates: we have the new “special report” on him (note to subscribers: in coming months, as we go to a new system, there will be a request to re-enter information.) That will be posted later today or Saturday.
There is news on numbers: almost half of American adults now have received at least one dose of covid vaccines. The numbers are slowing but many young are rushing for them. How sad it is, to see poor little kids donning masks as they prepare for school.
But let’s stay with oddities.
There has been loud concern over side effects with two of the major vaccines used in the West, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Various countries have “paused” or delayed use of one or the other, or both, including now the U.S. (with Johnson & Johnson and yet-to-be U.S.-approved AstraZeneca).
One concern: blood clots in the brain. Admittedly, the chances seem slim (they claim just six documented cases per seven million doses), but such numbers are up in the air. It takes a while to know a full tally, if ever they can, and scientific surveys — never mind pharmaceutical ones — often exclude all but open-and-shut cases (translation: the number could be higher than whatever is finally reported).
Proponents of those two vaccines point out that getting covid itself leaves a person eighty times more susceptible to blood-clotting in the brain than do the vaccinations. But Denmark has discontinued use of AstraZeneca, Norway has delayed a ruling on it, and Germany has restricted its use in those under sixty years of age.
Here’s the oddity: both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson — the problem-plagued vaccines — are also the ones most directly associated with use of cell lines from aborted babies.
One priest doctor argues that all the vaccines have a tainted connection to abortion, even if old fetal cell lines were only used for development and testing [see here], and if they are taken, the Catholic has an obligation to in some way protest (perhaps with an e-mail to a public official or the pharmaceutical company). It is a shame such cell lines ever were used, although even Pope Benedict XVI — arguably the most conservative Pope since Pius X — received it. Nearly half of Republicans say they won’t get it, although the current conservative standard-bearer, Donald Trump, received it (as did daughter Ivanka yesterday). Scientists who argue the ethics claim that in the case of one such cell lines, vaccines derived from it through the years have saved more than ten million lives.
It’s all a bit of what the above priest calls a “yucky” affair. The Vatican and U.S. bishops, who have studied them in some depth, are fine with Moderna and Pfizer.
(Another oddity: supposedly, the head of Denmark’s medical agency fainted during an announcement on suspension of AstraZeneca.)
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) April 15, 2021
If you want to see an even-handed Christian approach to whether or note one should take any vaccine, you may want to view this:
There’s a lot of information, pro and con, to be wary about out there. God knows the truth (and only He, Who made it, fully knows your body).
Want to see something more chilling than use of embryonic cell lines?
This from the journal Nature yesterday:
“Scientists have successfully grown monkey embryos containing human cells for the first time — the latest milestone in a rapidly advancing field that has drawn ethical questions. In the work, published on 15 April in Cell1, the team injected monkey embryos with human stem cells and watched them develop. They observed human and monkey cells divide and grow together in a dish, with at least 3 embryos surviving to 19 days after fertilization.” Ponder that in light of the “1990 prophecies.”
As far as mammon: in the news this week was the death (pray for him) of Bernie Madoff, the infamous architect, as Associated Press phrased it, “of an epic securities swindle that burned thousands of investors, outfoxed regulators, and earned him a 150-year prison term.”
Here’s the part of the news that was curious:
“A judge issued a forfeiture order stripping Madoff of all his personal property, including real estate, investments, and $80 million in assets his wife, Ruth, had claimed were hers. The order left her with $2.5 million. The scandal also exacted a personal toll on the family: One of his sons, Mark, killed himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in 2010. Madoff’s brother, Peter, who helped run the business, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012, despite claims he was in the dark about his brother’s misdeeds. Madoff’s other son, Andrew, died from cancer at age 48. Ruth is still living.”
Bad “luck.” In the dark indeed.
And folks for whom we should pray (as opposed to disdain).
The headline when he died on the Drudge Report: “MADOFF IN HELL.”
We’d be awfully careful about declaring that.
On to the Church:
We never really looked closely at a press conference Pope Francis held on a plane returning from Fatima (to which he dedicated his pontificate) in 2017.
During that visit part of the prayer Pope Francis had read said:
“Hail Mother of Mercy, Lady of the white robe! At this place where one hundred years ago you showed all the designs of our God’s mercy, I look upon your robe of light and, as bishop dressed in white [como bispo vestido de branco], I remember all those who, robed in baptismal white, want to live in God and pray the mysteries of Christ to attain peace.”
During the q-and-a aboard the jet, a reporter named Aura Miguel said, “So, Holy Father, in Fatima you presented yourself as ‘the Bishop dressed in white.’ Until now, this expression has applied rather to the vision of the third part of the secret, to Saint John Paul II and to the martyrs of the twentieth century. What does it mean that you identify yourself with this expression?
Yes, in the prayer. I didn’t do that myself; the Shrine did it. But I also wondered why they said that. And there is a connection, about the white: the bishop dressed in white, Our Lady dressed in white, the radiance of children’s innocence after being baptized… There is a connection, in that prayer, with the color white. I think – because I didn’t do it – I think that on a literal level they were trying to express by the color white the desire for innocence, for peace: innocence, not doing evil to another, not making war…
Is the interpretation of the message being revised?
No. That vision… I think that Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained everything quite clearly. Thank you.”
What Cardinal Ratzinger, upon release of the Third Secret, related it with was the shooting of Saint John Paul II in 1981 and the miraculous course the bullet took, missing critical blood vessels and organs. “As regards the passage about the Bishop dressed in white, that is, the Holy Father—as the children immediately realized during the ‘vision’—who is struck dead and falls to the ground, Sister Lucia was in full agreement with the Pope’s claim that ‘it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death’ (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994),” he wrote. There always will be debate (isn’t there, these days, about everything?).