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Catholic Leaders Against the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

On Tuesday, leaders of the Catholic Church issued a statement urging Catholics to avoid taking Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to questions about how it was produced.

The statement issued by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities claims that the J&J vaccine was “developed, tested and/or produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns.”

“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion derived cell lines,” the statement reads.

The bishops say that it is “morally acceptable” to receive COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their actual production.

“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,” the bishops said in the statement.


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