The vaccine rollout is gaining pace around the world.
However, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has issued a warning to Catholics over a tenuous scientific link.
They claim that taking the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be immoral.
The Food and Drug Administration expert panel moved to approve the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine last Friday.
Catholics are being warned not to accept it. The Archdiocese says it is because the vaccine was derived from cloned stem cells, distantly related to tissue from fetuses aborted back in the 1970s. The cells used now are not from the original fetal tissue.
The Archdiocese released a statement about the “immoral” vaccine.
Here’s the main part of their statement:
The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in light of guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirm that though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote.
It is under the same guidance that the archdiocese must instruct Catholics that the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.
However, the New Orleans Archdiocese is now spreading a different message to the Vatican and Pope Francis.
They have both been very pro-vaccine so far. Last year the Vatican approved the use of vaccines “that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process,” adding it’s “morally acceptable.”
Pope Francis has received the Pfizer vaccine. The governor of Vatican City also warned last month that paid employees who don’t take a vaccine could be sanctioned or fired.
Neither The Vatican nor the Pope have explicitly mentioned the Johnson & Johnson vaccine yet.
The new shot differs from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine as it only requires one vaccination.
Some places of worship are currently hosting vaccination centres.
There are fears this new advice will put people off the single-dose vaccine.
Anthony S. Fauci is the top infectious-disease doctor in the US. He says: “If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it. I think people need to get vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible.”
Some members of the clergy have gone further than the Archdiocese.
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland in Texas is repeatedly tweeting that Catholics shouldn’t take any of the three vaccines.
He raged: “The fact remains that ANY vaccine available today involves using murdered children before they could even be born. I renew my pledge … I will not extend my life by USING murdered children. This is evil WAKE UP!”
Do you agree with the Vatican or the Archdiocese?
Image via Alamy