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US bishops encourage use of Covid vaccines

December 14, 2020

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released a statement encouraging American Catholics to take a Covid vaccine, when it becomes available, as an act of charity toward the other members of our community.”

The statement—signed by Bishop Kevin Rhoades and Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who chair the USCCB committees on doctrine and pro-life activities, respectively—recognizes the moral difficulties of vaccines developed used fetal tissues, but says that “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.”

The bishops’ statement goes on to say that the AstraZeneca vaccine, produced using fetal tissues, is “more morally compromised.” However, even in that case the USCCB statement says that Catholics may be justified in taking that vaccine if no alternatives are available.


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  • Posted by: Antonius86 - Dec. 14, 2020 12:55 PM ET USA

    I suppose if one had to work as a first-responder or in a hospital/healthcare setting, or even in a nursing home, it would seem more important to get the vaccine. The average person, however, won't need to take this vaccine, abortion cell lines or not.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 14, 2020 12:17 PM ET USA

    One has to ask the question: Would the USCCB bless a vaccine composed of cells from recently aborted children? Or would they say this vaccine is "more morally compromised", but still justifiable as an emergency alternative to vaccines in short supply? Please remind me: how do you spell proportionalism? How do you spell consequentialism? One year into the U.S. expression of the disease, and we don't know anything about COVID-19 antibodies, but we know enough about the vaccines to be dangerous?

  • Posted by: dcnmthompson7484 - Dec. 14, 2020 11:46 AM ET USA

    Thanks for the update. I will see what the situation looks like when it becomes available to the average Joe. I suspect I am way down on the list. This also gives some time to see the pros and cons in terms of the side effects and/or the short term consequences (complications) that will arise in the early groups of people. The FDA review is ongoing - even after approval (which it is for any and all drugs it approves).