‘I wouldn’t want any other parent to feel the way I did’
A well-known lay missionary who was dramatically hospitalised with Covid-19 has appealed for Catholics to set aside divisions over vaccines and stand with the Pope.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Tony Foy, Executive Director of NET Ministries Ireland admitted that looking into his children’s eyes as he was rushed to hospital led him to serious soul searching about his own stance during the pandemic.
Admitting that he had ignored the advice from Pope Francis to get vaccinated thinking the virus would not seriously affect him, Mr Foy (51) said: “I wouldn’t want any other parent to feel the way I felt leaving my family and knowing that it was potentially unnecessary”.
The father-of-seven said that he knows “what I would do differently now,” given his circumstances, and felt inspired by God to share his experience with people, that they might trust the Pope in terms of the “morals and ethics for this vaccine”.
“I just ignored that [what Pope Francis has said] and I’m not very proud of that, but I ignored it.
“That is as Catholics, when we’re in union with the authority of the Church – and who is the Pope? Is he or is he not the Pope? – then there will be blessings, and there will be more grace from that, and you all know this, there will be more grace from that than there will be from doing our own thing,” Mr Foy said.
Mr Foy said that his video is not a “pro-vaccine video by any manner or means” but that if ever the Church needed unity behind the Pope, it’s now.
“I was in a bad way for a week. Like, delirious for a week. I couldn’t pray – all I could do was hold the rosary beads, and I’m grateful even for that,” he said.
“I know when the time comes that I hope I have the courage to do the right thing and follow the Pope…to stick with the Pope, because if we ever needed as Catholics unity and God’s blessing, it is now.
“I think that’s why, as a 51 year old, somebody who considered themselves fit, I think that might be why God wanted me to do this video, to share with you so that you might learn something from it.
“You know, when we’re with the Pope, he has let us off the hook in terms of morals and ethics for this vaccine,” Mr Foy said.