(p. A12) MONTSERRAT, Spain — Sister Teresa Forcades came to public notice years ago for her unflinching liberal views: an outspoken Roman Catholic nun whose pronouncements ran counter to the church’s positions on same-sex marriage and abortion.
She became a fixture on Spanish television, appearing in her nun’s habit to advocate independence for her native region of Catalonia, and to debate other hot-button topics, including vaccines. She had trained as a doctor, partly in the United States, and argued that vaccinations might one day pose a danger to a free society.
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“It’s always important that criticism is possible, to have dissenting voices,” she said of her views, which center as much on her doubts about the vaccines as her right to question them in public. “The answer cannot be that in the time of a crisis, society cannot allow the criticism — it’s precisely then that we need it.”
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In the world of vaccine skeptics, Sister Teresa, who was born in 1966 to a nurse and a commercial agent, is hard to categorize. She acknowledges that some vaccines are beneficial, but opposes making them mandatory. Her misgivings about coronavirus vaccines largely stem from her view that pharmaceutical companies are not to be trusted, and the clinical trials were rushed.
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Sister Teresa, though staunchly leftist, doesn’t distance herself from right-wing followers, calling her distrust of some vaccines a “transversal question able to reach a wide spectrum of people.”
For the full story see:
Nicholas Casey. “Spanish Nun With Medical Training Champions Vaccine Distrust.” The New York Times (Saturday, April 24, 2021): A12.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the date April 23, 2021, and has the title “A Nun and a Doctor, She’s One of Europe’s Longstanding Vaccine Skeptics.”