CHICAGO (CBS) — The archdioceses of St. Louis and New Orleans have called the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine “morally compromised.”
Both archdioceses urged Roman Catholics to seek alternatives to the shot. They said a cell line derived from an aborted child seems to have been used in the development and production of that specific vaccine.READ MORE: Lightfoot, Arwady: Masks Are Needed Indoors For Now Amid Rising COVID-19 Delta Variant Cases, But Vaccines Work, And It's Time To Get Vaccinated Now
But the archdioceses said Catholics should not go so far as to refuse the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if it were the only option.
“As some Catholics may face a situation in which they are only offered the choice of the Johnson & Johnson inoculation, this should not prevent Catholics from getting vaccinated,” a St. Louis Archdiocese news release was quoted by CBS affiliate KMOV-TV 4. “As the bishops of Missouri have previously stated, Catholics may in good conscience utilize vaccines, even those derived in an unethical manner, in order to protect themselves, as well as to avoid the serious risk to vulnerable persons and to society as a whole resulting from remaining unvaccinated.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Sunny And Dry With A Gradual Warmup
In New Orleans, CBS affiliate WWL-TV 4 reported the archdiocese said guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Bishops, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are “morally acceptable” for Catholics because only some lab testing was conducted on abortion cell lines, and thus, the link to abortion is “extremely remote.”
“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,” the New Orleans Archdiocese was quoted by WWL-TV.
The Archdiocese of Chicago would not comment on the messaging on Monday, but told CBS 2 they are following the guidance of Pope Francis.MORE NEWS: At Least 4 People Killed, 41 Wounded In Gun Violence In Chicago So Far This Weekend
The Pontiff has not spoken out directly about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But the Vatican referred to such vaccines as “morally acceptable” in a statement released last December.