I am writing this article almost two weeks before you will be reading it, so I pray that you are having a Merry and Blessed Christmas Season!
I would like to address a question many of you have been asking relative to the COVID 19 vaccines. I realize some of you question if you should receive any vaccine and some of you raised the concerns relative to morality of the COVID vaccines. Here is a portion of what the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) stated on December 14. The USSCB’s new release is entitled: Bishops: Getting COVID-19 vaccine is 'act of charity,' supports the common good!'
“The "gravity" of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and "the lack of availability of alternative vaccines," are "sufficiently serious" reasons to accept the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the chairmen of the U.S. bishops' doctrine and pro-life committees said December 14.
"Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community," they said. "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."
‘The bishops addressed the moral concerns raised by the fact the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have some connection to cell lines that originated with tissue taken from abortions.
‘However, this connection to morally compromised cell lines is so remote and the public health situation is too grave to reject the vaccines,” representatives from the Committee on Doctrine Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The statement continued: “On Dec. 8, The Lancet medical journal reported that four clinical trials of a third vaccine, being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca "appears to have moderate efficacy in preventing symptomatic illness, and may significantly reduce hospitalization from the disease." Astra Zeneca is expected to apply to the FDA for emergency use of its vaccine in the coming weeks. USCCB said they found the AstraZeneca vaccine it to be "more morally compromised" and concluded this vaccine "should be avoided" if there are alternatives available.”
"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," the two prelates stated. "In such a case ... it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine."
The bishops went on to say: “Memos had been circulated asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines, then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching."
The statement in very lengthy and can be found at the USCCB website, but it does conclude with these words. "We should be on guard so that the new COVID-19 vaccines do not desensitize us or weaken our determination to oppose the evil of abortion itself and the subsequent use of fetal cells in research."
Obviously, like any decision, the final decision is yours, after appropriate study and prayer. Be assured I will be getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
Please do have a Merry and Blessed Christmas Season!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,