Vatican Official Clarifies His Position Regarding Vaccine Statements to CNS

Debi Vinnedge
For Immediate Release: August 3, 2005
Children of God for Life
Contact: Debi Vinnedge,
(727) 584-3332
Reproduced with Permission
Vatican Official Clarifies Position

Msgr Jacques Suaudeau of the Pontifical Academy for the Family has clarified what was meant by the recent Vatican statement, completely contradicting the July 26, 2005 CNS article, Vatican says refusing vaccines must be weighed against health threats.

After CNS falsely reported and then partially retracted statements that had been allegedly made by Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life's Executive Director, the organization decided to check with the Msgr. himself. The article apparently caused the Vatican official much consternation as he rued "the mistake" he had made in speaking with "some English-speaking journalist on the subject" (of the vaccines.)

In an email response to Children of God for Life's Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Anthony Zimmerman, Msgr. Suaudeau noted, "What seems more useful is to read carefully the document, from introduction to conclusion."

"It is also important to keep in mind that this document is not intended only for Children of God [for Life] or for the particular situation of the United States, but considers the question of vaccines in a worldwide perspective," he added.

Msgr. Suaudeau noted that while officials at the Holy See do not provide "official" opinions of Vatican documents to private individuals, his statements were meant to clarify his own position. He made two key observations:

"1) The document as such supports the position of Children of God [for Life]. It denounces the use of "tainted" vaccines, it asks for alternative vaccines; it invites (the document speak about a "duty", which is a pretty strong word) parents (and others) to put pressure on government and companies to offer alternative vaccines. The document speaks clearly about "conscientious objection"(p.7). This was the main point of the document. As such I do think that Children of God [for Life] have there a useful instrument to put pressure on local authorities in order to get exemption of vaccination for their children, in schools. But more important is the lobbying to get the alternative vaccines free entrance in the U.S."

"2) The restriction formula about the possible use of tainted vaccines in conditions "of considerable dangers"(p.7) was needed: in fact we had problems with local (Italian) journals using titles like that: "Vatican forbid vaccinations".

Children of God for Life was grateful for the response. "Msgr. Suaudeau has effectively cited what we have said to those who wish to put their own spin on what the Vatican really stated," said Debi Vinnedge. "Read the statement for yourself!"

The document can be reviewed in its entirety at

Further Reading: NCBC Has Moral Obligation to Print the Truth And Follow Vatican Directives: