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Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

A Minnesota Catholic priest has found himself in the public eye after sharing COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation with his parishioners. 

Written by Fr. Paul Kubista, the essay appeared in last Sunday's bulletin at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church, which is located in Delano, Wright County. It was posted to the parish's Facebook page the following day:

"There is evidence that the jab is harmful even deadly," Kubista writes, citing numbers he claims are from VAERS, or the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a data tracking system run by the CDC and FDA. 

(As Science magazine notes, VAERS data — which is open to the public — has frequently been "twisted" and misinterpreted by antivaxxers during the COVID era.)

Kubista also cites Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist whose false claims about vaccines have resulted in a lawsuit,  and Dr. Robert Malone, who falsely claims to have "invented" the mRNA technology that made the vaccine possible.

In his essay, Kubista says that he will "not take the vaccine under any circumstance" and calls the number of reported COVID deaths "inflated," among other misinformation and incorrect claims. 

As KARE 11 reports, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis issued a statement regarding Kubista's message, saying that "homilies or bulletin columns that evaluate specific medical advice or theories are beyond their expertise and are both irresponsible and inappropriate."

The station says it shared with Kubista "a number of links to reputable studies and articles disproving several claims in his article," and that Kubista, "with kindness, agreed to read them."

Kubista is not the first Catholic priest in the region to generate controversy over misinformation about COVID-19 or the vaccine. 

In May, an anti-vaxxer priest in at St. James the Less Roman Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was asked to resign over his public commentary.

Last year, Archbishop Bernard Hebda, head of the archdiocese in the Twin Cities, disavowed a conspiracy-laden COVID sermon delivered by Father Robert Altier at St. Raphael's Church in Crystal.

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