Unvaccinated Archbishop criticised for spreading Covid misinformation


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been sharply criticised for revealing he is unvaccinated and for spreading Covid-19 misinformation.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle’s “It’s All Political” podcast, Cordileone said he learned from his primary health physician that he has “a good immune system”. He confided his personal physician had told him, “it’s probably not necessary for me to be vaccinated.”

Cordileone, who has been outspoken against abortion and same-sex marriage, also incorrectly said that the coronavirus inoculations “are not really vaccines.”

“We think of a vaccine as a shot that gives you immunity to a disease for life or at least for a very long time. And these actually don’t give any immunity at all. They give protection,” Cordileone said in the interview.

“I’m stepping into another controversy, I guess,” Cordileone, aged 65, told the Chronicle.

“He’s just wrong. That’s my first point. The second is that this bad, ill-informed advice that he’s putting out there could lead to people dying unnecessarily. We just have to counter that with the truth,” said Dr Philip Landrigan, director of the Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good at Boston College.

The archbishop’s comments echo conservative scepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines often amplified in right-wing media. It also sharply contradicts guidance from Pope Francis. Last summer, the pontiff urged people to get vaccinated and has expressed exasperation with anti-vaccine sceptics.

Cordileone told the Chronicle that he is “not an anti-vaxxer”. In a statement provided to NCR, the archbishop said he previously advised people to consult their physicians when he joined California’s other Catholic bishops in urging people to get vaccinated.

“It is also important to make that decision based on as complete and accurate scientific information as one can obtain,” Cordileone said in the statement. “That is what I have done in my own case. It is always a very personal decision.”


National Catholic Reporter

Religion News Service


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