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I continue to receive questions concerning the different vaccines available to fight the COVID virus and as a Roman Catholic can you receive them, the one word answer is YES. With the assistance of the National Catholic Reporter allow me share some insights into this important concern.
Recent conflicting statements by some bishops that Catholics should avoid certain vaccines over concerns about abortion are, ironically, anti-life, says a medical ethicist and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Some members of the Academy go as far as saying the Catholic Church should apologize for causing confusion. The Academy clearly says all vaccines are morally acceptable.
The chairs of the U.S. bishops' conference committees on doctrine and pro-life activities issued a statement advising Catholics awaiting a COVID-19 vaccine to choose, if possible, the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over the recently approved Johnson & Johnson's one due to a less remote connection between this newest vaccine and abortion.
"Interpreted by the media and Catholic faithful as episcopal guidance to avoid the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, these diverse and sometimes conflicting pronouncements have sowed 'pastorally dangerous' confusion," according to Therese Lysaught, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. She stated, "Catholic health systems are scrambling to figure out what to do with the allotments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines they have already received. Should they refuse further shipments? Some individual Catholics have decided to forego the vaccine, putting their own health and that of others at risk." She went on to say, “This approach threatens the vaccination effort in the U.S., the country with the highest global COVID-19 mortality. Without vaccinations, the virus will continue to spread and mutate.”
Lysaught concluded: "I fear that in the zeal to advance the cause against abortion, outdated advice on Catholic teaching may have inadvertently led this handful of bishops to take a position that is, ironically, anti-life. What might have led them to articulate a position that urges Catholics to privilege a theoretical moral purity over the value of their own lives, the lives of others and the common good?"
Please know I am always open to discussing the vaccination issue with anyone, just give me a call.
Blessings in 2021!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,