Bishops’ Committee Endorsed Use of COVID-19 Vaccine Despite Connections to Abortion

COVID-19 vaccinations should be seen by Catholics as an “act of love” and a “moral responsibility,” despite its connections to abortion, two chairmen on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on doctrine and anti-abortion activities said Monday.

“In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines,” Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the chair of the USCCB’s doctrine committee, and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s pro-life activities committee, wrote in a statement, referring to the use of HEK293-derived tests.

“Being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”

Widespread rollout of the vaccine began in the U.S. on Monday.

No COVID-19 vaccine contains cells from aborted fetuses, though the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine makes use of cell lines replicated from an aborted fetus in 1973. Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine is more “morally compromised” and “should be avoided if there are alternatives available,” the bishops argued.

“We should be on guard so that the new COVID-19 vaccines do not desensitize us or weaken our determination,” they bishops wrote.

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