After anti-abortion groups raised concerns about how the Covid-19 vaccine was manufactured, the Vatican reassured faithful Catholics that the Covid-19 vaccine is “morally acceptable” even if their research and production used cell lines from aborted fetuses.
Catholic Bishops in some archdiocese around the world denounced the vaccine on the grounds that it was immorally produced. This led to the division of some members of clergy, and questions in regard to the legitimacy of the vaccine emerged.
In response to the flood of questions and requests for guidance on the matter, the Vatican’s Watchdog Office for Doctrinal Orthodoxy responded saying that “All vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience” as long as it is certain that the vaccine does not have formal connections with cells from aborted fetal tissue (BBC).
Pope Francis endorsed the message from the Vatican Watchdog Office and authorized it to become public agreeing that the administration of the vaccine will not violate the church’s moral teaching. The Vatican concluded that the connection between abortions that occurred decades ago and receiving a Covid-19 vaccine produced today is remote, and for this reason, inoculations are morally justified. The council also acknowledged that given the gravity of the current pandemic it was a “moral imperative” to accept the Coronavirus vaccine.
According to NPR, The pronouncement triggered a response from the US conference of Catholic Bishops, which reassured the Catholic community that in view of the unavailability of alternatives, it is incumbent that the vaccine, be accepted, and stressed that there is a remote connection between morally compromised cell lines from aborted fetuses.
The Vatican made it clear that taking the Covid-19 vaccine is not a moral obligation and must be voluntary, but is incumbent on the duty to protect one’s health and the health of others. Those who are opposed to taking vaccinations are strongly encouraged to do their utmost best to engage in appropriate behaviours and preventative means that will protect themselves and their neighbors.
Sources: BBC; CNN; NPR; Reuters