“There’s no moral need to turn down a vaccine, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is morally acceptable to use,” Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, said in a two-minute video posted on YouTube March 4.
The bishop cited an earlier Vatican statement that “has made clear that all the COVID vaccines recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience.”
He also repeated comments that he made in a March 2 statement in conjunction with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, that if a choice of vaccines is available “we recommend that you pick one with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines.”
“Pfizer and Moderna’s connection is more remote than that of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” he said.
“What’s most important is that people get vaccinated,” Rhoades continued. “It can be an act of charity that serves the common good. At the same time, as we bishops have already done, it’s really important for us to encourage development of vaccines that do not use abortion-derived cell lines. This is very important for the future.”
The Johnson & Johnson Jansen one-shot COVID-19 is the third vaccine that has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In their original statement, the prelates concluded, that “while we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”
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