Catholic Bishops have advised against using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to combat covid-19 if possible because of the use of aborted fetal cells in its creation.
In a recent statement, representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) committees on Doctrine and Pro-Life Activities, respectively, questioned the morality of the vaccine.
“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines,” the statement read.
While the statement noted there were concerns about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines because aborted fetal cells were used in its testing, it noted Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine “was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns.” The bishops did say one may take whatever vaccine is available if there is no choice in the matter.
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“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘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,’” the statement continued. “However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.”
According to Insider, Pope Francis has not addressed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine specifically yet, however, the Vatican said it would be “morally acceptable” to take vaccines “that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
This stance was underscored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in December when it released a statement saying though it encouraged scientists to create vaccines that avoided using fetal cells, taking a vaccine that does use them does not mean one is endorsing abortion.
“The certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in the production of the vaccines derive,” the statement said adding using the vaccines did “not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion.”