Why do some people think that the New Orleans Archdiocese has warned Catholics to avoid a ‘morally compromised’ Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?
Because it makes a good click-bait type headline…
Did the New Orleans Archdiocese Ban or Warn Catholics to Avoid a ‘Morally Compromised’ Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
So what did they actually say?
“We maintain that the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine remains one of individual conscience in consultation with one’s healthcare provider. We also maintain that in no way does the Church’s position diminish the wrongdoing of those who decided to use cell lines from abortions to make vaccines. In doing so, we advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines.”A Statement Regarding the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Basically, if you are fortunate enough to have a choice, then the Archdiocese of New Orleans advises that Catholics should get either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
Importantly, they didn’t ban or say you couldn’t get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if necessary.
And it is the same position as was already put forth on December 14 in the statement, Moral Considerations Regarding the New Covid-19 Vaccines, by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“It may turn out, however, that one does not really have a choice of vaccine, at least, not without a lengthy delay in immunization that may have serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others. In such a case, just as accepting a vaccination for rubella with a morally compromised vaccine is morally permissible because of the lack of alternatives and the serious risk to the public health, so it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine.”Moral Considerations Regarding the New Covid-19 Vaccines
What’s the issue?
Of course, it is that some of these vaccines are made in cell lines that have a distant association with abortion, having been made with fetal embryo fibroblast and retinal cells from cell lines that are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from a few electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s and 80s.
Unfortunately, with the vaccine shortages we are seeing basically everywhere, Catholics in New Orleans and elsewhere likely won’t have a choice on which vaccine to get.
“In addition, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community. In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”Moral Considerations Regarding the New Covid-19 Vaccines
Instead, they should get whichever vaccine is first available, unless they can make a choice without having to wait.
More on Catholics and COVID-19 Vaccines
- Which COVID-19 Vaccine Should You Get?
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- National Catholic Bioethics Center on Vaccines
- Religious Exemptions to Vaccination
- Who Are the Religious Leaders Who Are Against Vaccines?
- Is MRC-5 the Name of an Electively Aborted Baby Boy?
- Which Vaccines Contain Aborted Baby Parts?
- It’s Just More Anti-Vaccine Misinformation
- A Statement Regarding the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moral Considerations Regarding the New COVID-19 Vaccines
- Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines
- Pope Francis suggests people have moral obligation to take coronavirus vaccine
- Memo to Bishops on Vaccines for COVID-19
- Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines
- Points to Consider on the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines
- You Can Use the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine in Some Cases
- Making Sense of Bioethics: Must Catholics Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccine Made with a Cell Line from an Abortion?
- Making Sense of Bioethics: Vaccines and Other Entanglements with Abortion
- Making Sense of Bioethics: Should I Get Vaccinated?
- Making Sense of Bioethics: COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
- COVID-19 Vaccines: Promote Life and Health Without Undermining Human Dignity
- The National Catholic Bioethics Center FAQ: On the Use of Vaccines
- Covid: Vatican says coronavirus vaccines ‘morally acceptable’
- U.S. Catholic bishops: Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an ‘act of charity’
- Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict get first dose of Covid-19 vaccine
- A letter to the faithful from the Colorado bishops on COVID-19 vaccines