Healing: The Role of Religion in a Pandemic

The Finger Lakes Guild is happy to join St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in co-sponsoring this on-line event!  We are looking forward to hearing Sr. Grace Miriam Usala’s thoughts from her unique perspective of religious sister and internal medicine physician!

When: Thursday, April 8th, 7:30 – 9 pm EST 

Where: Online via Zoom 

Please visit St. Bernard’s event page to register

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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The J&J Vaccine may be coming soon to a site near you. Based on our understanding of both the Vatican and USCCB, this vaccine would be acceptable…though we would recommend utilizing it only if the vaccines from either Pfizer or Moderna are not available. This is due to it being significantly more morally compromised than either of the other two, with abortion-derived cell lines being used in all three phases of production.

This article provides a good summary of the relative moral issues among these three vaccines, while this piece from the U of R gives their opinion regarding their relative effectiveness.

Update: 3/2 @ 4:40pm – The USCCB agrees…

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

With the news of the impending approval of COVID vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson we wanted to briefly address the moral issues related to these specific vaccines.

We want to stress that the conclusions reached by the Vatican on the permissibility of using any morally-compromised vaccines do apply to these two new vaccines as well. So, each faithful Catholic who is considering receiving any of these vaccines should consider two points: the effectiveness of the vaccine and the degree of moral compromise.

Effectiveness: It appears that these two new vaccines are not more effective than from Pfizer and Moderna (and may actually be less effective, see also here, and here). At the same time, no vaccine has thus far been found to have more adverse reactions than another. Therefore, from a strictly scientific standpoint, Pfizer and Moderna would be preferred over AstraZeneca or J&J.

Moral Compromise: According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s information these two new vaccines from AstraZeneca and J&J are significantly more morally compromised than those made by Pfizer or Moderna. This is due to the fact that both AstraZeneca’s and J&J’s vaccines use abortion-derived cell lines in all three phases of production (Design/Development, Production, and Confirmatory Testing).

These two points argue for Pfizer or Moderna and against AstraZeneca or J&J asfaithful Catholics should, when able, choose the least compromised vaccine available.

–Please note that this is not medical advice and if there is a medical reason that a specific vaccine, regardless of its moral standing, would pose a risk to your health, please follow your doctor’s advice!–

Frequently Asked Questions

Do COVID-19 vaccinations have “body parts” from aborted babies?

  • This is a question we’ve been receiving frequently. The answer is “No,” none of the vaccines contain any physical material taken directly from an aborted baby. Rather, those vaccines with some association with abortion use cells derived from aborted babies. This means specific types of cells from an aborted baby have been cultured (i.e., “grown”) in a laboratory, most since the 1970’s or 1980’s.
  • From a physical standpoint, this is different than something like, for example, a bone marrow transplant. In that case, it is the actual cells from the donor that are physically injected into the recipient’s blood stream.
  • In the case of COVID-19 vaccines it is, however, true that those cells being grown in culture are morally linked to that aborted baby. It is this fact that is at issue in the discussions currently taking place and is addressed in our statement on this issue.

Click here for more COIVD-19 vaccine information. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we always happy to hear from you.

Advocate for Morally Acceptable Vaccine Development

The Holy Father, through the CDF, and our Bishops (along with others) have been clear that while we are able to accept the currently-available COVID-19 vaccines in good conscience, we are also obligated to both avoid scandal and advocate for the development of vaccines that are developed in morally acceptable ways. The advocacy can take many forms, including…

  • Donating to organizations that are developing such vaccines, including the JP2 Medical Research Institute
  • Thanking companies that are developing morally acceptable vaccines including Sanofi Pasture (Human Life Action provides a convenient contact template for Sanofi specifically)
  • Urging companies to are almost there to switch to a fully morally acceptable vaccine development process. You can contact Pfizer here and Moderna here.
  • Charitably admonishing companies that are not almost there (i.e., developing very morally problematic vaccines) to change course. AstraZeneca is the company closest to getting a severely morally problematic vaccine approved and can be contacted here.