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Pontifical Academy for Life encouraging vaccinations?

March 21, 2019

The Pontifical Academy for Life has encouraged parents to have their children vaccinated.

A statement from the Pontifical Academy—released in July 2017 but only now made public—appears to take a very different tone from a statement issued by the same Vatican office in 2005.

In the 2005 statement, the Pontifical Academy for Life noted that many vaccines use cell lines derived from aborted children. Despite the potential benefits of using these vaccines, the Vatican office said, “there remains a moral duty to continue to fight and to employ every lawful means in order to make life difficult for the pharmaceutical industries which act unscrupulously and unethically.” The 2005 statement said that parents could be justified in allowing vaccination, but strongly urged the faithful to press for the development of vaccines that were developed by morally licit means.

In a news story issued on March 20, the Catholic News Service (CNS) reports that in the 2017 statement, the Pontifical Academy concluded that “the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion.” Earlier, theologians had argued that the use of the tainted vaccines would constitute “remote material cooperation,” which could be justified in compelling circumstances.

The CNS report said that the Pontifical Academy had furnished “a working translation of the 2017 document”—which is not otherwise available—after a legal controversy developed in Kentucky, where traditionalist Catholics have cited Church teaching as their reason for rejecting vaccinations.

The July 2017 statement was issued shortly after Pope Francis completely revamped the Pontifical Academy for Life, replacing all of the group’s members and giving the office a new direction.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 25, 2019 12:46 PM ET USA

    Anything goes when: "No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!" (AL n. 297)

  • Posted by: JessicaFanaro - Mar. 21, 2019 7:36 PM ET USA

    Dr. Theresa Deisher presented at the Vatican just this week regarding the use of aborted fetal tissue in the making of (certain) vaccines, and the fact that there is DNA remaining in each dose. The insistence of Vatican officials that this is a non-issue is disgusting and maddening.