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Vatican approves, encourages Covid vaccine use

December 21, 2020

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has issued a statement concluding that “it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that used cells lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”

Indeed the CDF says that “the common good may recommend vaccination,” and those who decline to be vaccinated “must do their utmost to avoid…becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”

The CDF statement, released December 21, reiterates previous Vatican statements that the use of fetal cells obtained from abortions in the production of vaccines is morally reprehensible, but the acceptance of such vaccines, in conditions of grave necessity, “does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion.”

The statement opens with a disclaimer: “We do not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies.”

However, the Vatican statement makes the judgment that the current Covid epidemic constitutes the “grave danger” that would justify accepting a vaccine developed by the use of immoral means. The statement also repeats Vatican insistence that Catholics should press for the development of vaccines derived by ethical means. But the CDF does not distinguish on that basis among the Covid vaccines that are currently available.

The CDF also stresses that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation, and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” The statement acknowledges the right of those who “for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses,” but encourages those people to use “other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior” to avoid being agents of transmitting the infection.


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  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Dec. 22, 2020 9:35 PM ET USA

    This summary is incomplete: In this sense, when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available (e.g. in countries where vaccines without ethical problems are not made available to physicians and patients, or where their distribution is more difficult due to special storage and transport conditions, or when various types of vaccines are distributed in the same country but health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated) it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.

  • Posted by: dustypowder2274 - Dec. 21, 2020 8:55 PM ET USA

    It breaks my heart that science promotes abortion. Those poor babies are GOD's Angels. I find it hard to belief that JESUS would say it was ok to have aborted babies put in a vaccine that most of us do not want every 3 months for the rest of our lives. I will be continuing my natural medicine as I tell people, if GOD didn't make it, I not taking it. GOD provides for everything for those who ask. AMEN

  • Posted by: tywilliams151670 - Dec. 21, 2020 5:12 PM ET USA

    The document is orthodox. Yet, to me they did not sufficiently distinguish between vaccines that used fetal cells in production versus those that used them in testing. I actually agree with the that the current crisis is bad enough to warrant the use of a vaccine tainted in the former way if nothing else is available—yet, I would have appreciated them more strongly urging the latter when the choice is there.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 21, 2020 2:00 PM ET USA

    I will just keep using other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior. These means and behaviors are to be mandated by the U.S. government anyway, as promised by the presumptive U.S. Administration. The presumptive president says, "It's only for 100 days", but some scientists say these prophylactic means and appropriate behavior are the "new normal". Why am I not surprised that the current Catholic hierarchy falls in line lockstep with the "world" government? If it will be truly voluntary...