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Vatican Declares Coronavirus Vaccines ‘Morally Acceptable’

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • The Vatican announced Monday that it is “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to receive vaccines that used cell lines based on research from aborted babies.
  • “It is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses” in research and production when “ethically irreproachable” vaccines are not available, the Vatican said.
  • The potential that the highly anticipated coronavirus vaccines would use cells from aborted babies posed weighty moral problems for many Americans who object to abortion — particularly Catholics, since the Catholic Church says abortion is a “crime against human life.”

The Vatican announced Monday that it is “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to receive vaccines that used cell lines based on research from aborted babies.

“It is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses” in research and production when “ethically irreproachable” vaccines are not available, the Vatican concluded according to the Associated Press. The Vatican emphasized, however, that “licit” uses of these vaccines “does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses.”

The potential that the highly anticipated coronavirus vaccines would use cells from aborted babies posed weighty moral problems for many Americans who object to abortion — particularly Catholics, since the Catholic Church says abortion is a “crime against human life.”

The COVID-19 vaccines that have begun to be distributed in various countries will probably have used cell lines “drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century,” the Vatican said, according to the AP. The Vatican also emphasized that “health authorities do not allow citizens to choose the vaccine with which to be inoculated,” the publication reported.

It is unclear whether 84-year-old Pope Francis will be vaccinated against the virus or what vaccine he will receive if he is vaccinated, the AP reported. (RELATED: ‘Level The Playing Field A Bit’: ‘Ethics Expert’ Implies Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Prioritized For Elderly Because They’re ‘Whiter’)

Some Catholic bishops announced last week that under the current “sufficiently serious” conditions of the pandemic, Catholics may take the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna but should avoid the “more morally compromised” AstraZeneca vaccine due to its use of aborted baby cells.

“In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops chairmen said.

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute’s Vice President Dr. David Prentice previously explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation that when abortion-derived cell lines are used in the production of a vaccine, that means the cells are “directly involved in making the final product, the vaccine that is injected in our arms.”

“It is an essential element for the final vaccine,” Prentice said. “Although the connection is distant both in time and space, since the abortion occurred decades ago and the cells have been grown in the lab ever since, that connection to abortion remains and is of concern to many Americans. ”

Laboratory testing using abortion-derived cell lines is potentially less morally problematic, since it is “anther step removed” Prentice said.

“When an abortion-derived cell line is used in laboratory testing, that is not done within the production line,” he explained. “It’s a confirmatory test done on the final vaccine, to validate what the scientists believe they’ve produced.”

“So this is another step removed, and there was nothing touching the abortion-derived cell line that ended up in the final vaccine product, or in our arms,” Prentice said. “For some, it doesn’t completely remove the concern. It is important to note that there are testing methods that can be done with cells not derived from abortion.”

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