Receiving COVID vaccines is ‘morally acceptable’

4 Mar, 2021 | Coronavirus

A note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was approved by Pope Francis, gives the green light during the pandemic to the use of vaccines produced with cell lines derived from two fetuses aborted in the 1960s.

By Vatican News

“It is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”

Due to the situation of the ongoing pandemic, “all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) made these statements in a note signed by the Prefect, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, and the Secretary, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi. The text was explicitly approved by Pope Francis on 17 December and released on Monday.

Clarifying doubts

The CDF document, which was published as many countries are preparing to implement vaccination campaigns, authoritatively intervenes to clarify doubts and questions which have emerged from sometimes contradictory statements on the subject.

The “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines” recalls three previous pronouncements on the same topic: one from the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) in 2005; the CDF Instruction Dignitas Personae in 2008; and, another note from the PAV in 2017.

Moral aspects

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says it does not “intend to judge the safety and efficacy” of current vaccines against Covid-19, which is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies. Rather, the CDF focuses on the moral aspects of receiving vaccines developed using cell lines from tissue obtained from two fetuses that were aborted in the 1960s.

The Instruction Dignitas Personae, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, pointed out that “there exist differing degrees of responsibility”, because “in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision.”

Therefore, argues the note published on Monday in summing up the Instruction of 2008, “when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available”, it is “morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”

‘Remote cooperation’

The CDF says the reason for considering these vaccines morally licit is the “kind of cooperation” in the evil of abortion, which is “remote” on the part of those receiving the vaccine.

Therefore, the “moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory” since there exists a grave danger, in the form of an “uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, says the CDF, fulfills this requirement.

“In such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.”

Not a legitimation of abortion

The Congregation clarifies that “the morally licit use of these types of vaccines, in the particular conditions that make it so, does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion, and necessarily assumes the opposition to this practice by those who make use of these vaccines.” Nor should it imply a moral approval of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses.

The CDF note calls on pharmaceutical companies and government health agencies to “produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of conscience.”

Voluntary vaccination

At the same time, the Congregation recalls that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

The morality of vaccination, it notes, depends both on the duty to protect one’s own health and the pursuit of the common good. “In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.”

Those who for reasons of conscience reject vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, however, must “do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”

Distribution to poor countries

Finally, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says it is “a moral imperative” for the pharmaceutical industry, governments, and international organizations to ensure that effective and ethically acceptable vaccines are accessible “to the poorest countries in a manner that is not costly for them.”

“The lack of access to vaccines, otherwise, would become another sign of discrimination and injustice that condemns poor countries to continue living in health, economic and social poverty.”

Source: Vatican News

Find out more about what we are doing in the parish to protect our parishioners during Mass.

More News and Information

Children begin their First Holy Communion preparation

The parish welcomed the children who are to begin preparation to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist, or First Holy Communion, to their enrolment ceremony during Mass on Sunday the 17th of October.

Start of the First Holy Communion preparation programme this week

This weekend marks the start of the First Holy Communion preparation course. We are pleased to be supporting 32 children and their families as they prepare to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist in June Next Year. The programme begins with an enrolment ceremony...

Feast day of our patron

Friday the 1st of October marks the Feast Day of our Patron, St Therese of Lisieux. The children of our primary school will be participating in the Mass and the Mass will be live-streamed on our Facebook and Youtube Channels. https://youtu.be/QFX2ccOq-c8

Mass time change this week

Please note that Mass on Thursday this week is at the earlier time of 9 am. Canon Alan is attending a meeting in York.

We are back

Please remember after a weekend of no Mass, either in person or by live stream we are now back to normal starting with Mass at 5.30pm this evening.!

Support the CAFOD Emergency Response Team

CAFOD continue to work with populations and agencies to help support those people who are suffering hardship around the world. Most of us will be aware of the recent events in Afghanistan and the earthquake in Haiti which is already struggling from the effects of...

No weekday morning Mass this week

Please note, there will be no weekday morning Mass this week, in person or online. Weekend Mass is on an usual.

World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2021

The inaugural World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly falls on Sunday 25 July 2021. Pope Francis has given it the theme “I am with you always” from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 28: 30). https://youtu.be/asLR_IKmhuI You can read the full message from the Holy Father...

Diocese seeks new Director of Music

The Diocese of Middlesbrough is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and appropriately qualified Director of Music to lead the development of music within the diocese. The Director of Music, working closely with the Dean, is responsible for the day-to-day provision of...

Updated Guidance for managing COVID risk

The Bishop has released further guidance for parishes in managing the risk of COVID during Mass. Although we are due to reach 'Freedom Day' soon when the final restrictions have been lifted, we are asked to relax our processes slowly in keeping with the high incidence...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This