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Archbishop Naumann: Covid vaccine morally licit, but not obligatory

“We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to make the right choice, the moral choice for us. And we have to weigh these goods: the good of protecting our health, the health of our loved ones, the health of the community.”

Coronavirus vaccine, stock image. Credit: M-Foto/Shutterstock

Washington D.C., Dec 22, 2020 / 05:48 pm (CNA).- Catholics are not morally obliged to take the coronavirus vaccine and should appeal to the Holy Spirit for wisdom, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas has said.

Speaking on EWTN’S Pro-Life Weekly with host Catherine Hadro, Naumann, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-life Committee, said that while all three of the available vaccines have ties to a cell line derived from an abortion, it would not be illicit for a Catholic to receive them.

“I think, like in everything, we need to pray,” said Naumann. “We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to make the right choice, the moral choice for us. And we have to weigh these goods: the good of protecting our health, the health of our loved ones, the health of the community.”

“And also at the same time, stand strongly to protect innocent human life and to bring an end to the culture of death and to abortion,” he said.

A person who receives the vaccine, said Naumann, must be motivated in part by a desire to protect the common good.

“We have an obligation to do what we can to protect our own health, as well as to do what we can to protect the health of others,” he said. “And those are good ethical reasons why one might choose to be vaccinated in this case.”

Naumann said there was a “moral justification” to receiving the vaccine, but that “not everyone has to make that decision.”

Those who do receive the vaccine, however, “are even more obligated” to urge pharmaceutical companies and the government to strive to produce ethical vaccines.

“With the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine, there were no aborted fetal cell lines used in the production or the development. However, they did use aborted fetal cell lines in the testing to see if they were if they were effective,” explained Naumann. “The AstraZeneca one, on the other hand, does use these aborted fetal cell lines that go back to 1960 when the abortions actually occurred.”

Naumann said it was “important” to note that “these are very old cell lines,” and that “it’s not like new abortions are happening because of these vaccines.”

If a vaccine were to be released that was completely free of any connection to abortion, said Naumann, “certainly that would be our encouragement for Catholics to use those.”

“But if the only options are these (three vaccines), then we think that the Moderna and Pfizer are even more remote in their cooperation in an abortion than the AstraZenaca one.”

Despite the abortion connection, Naumann, echoing a recent decree from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, stated the vaccinations are “licit and permissible,” though not obligatory.

Receiving the vaccine, the archbishop explained, would be considered to be “remote cooperation” with abortion.

“The person receiving the vaccine really had no influence on the decision on how that vaccine was tested or developed,” he said. “So in receiving the vaccine, they’re not giving approval to those decisions that were made by pharmaceutical companies, basically.”

Naumann said that he did not see the vaccines as “encouraging abortion,” adding that “it’s not like new abortions need to occur for these cell lines. These cell lines have been replicated for decades now.”

The cell line in question, HEK-293, was derived from an aborted female child in the Netherlands in the 1970s. Naumann said that he believed scientists were using this cell line “more out of convenience.”

“This is why the bishops of the United States really early on in the COVID epidemic, we asked our government, ‘please make sure that there are ethical vaccines available for our people,’” said Naumann.

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    • Elsa, is archbishop Naumann becoming “evil” when he details the human life lost and the consequences of refusing to protect others. America is at war. The evil pandemic has left its’ mark with the destruction of hundreds of innocent lives. Even with the availability of vaccines the war is not over.

      Please read the CDC warnings of details on the safe way to contain the coronavirus.

      • Sorry, but honoring the dictates of one’s conscience before God is far more important than “protecting others.” We have no ultimate control over who gets sick. But we are responsible and answerable to God for honoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit in these matters.

      • MorganB
        Please acknowledge the economic and educational devastation the governmental lockdowns have cost. And oh, yes, the deaths-suicides, drug overdose, increase in cancer deaths, heart attacks, strokes.

    • I will never be complicit in the torture, dismemberment & killing of pre-born babies. This is exactly what the Nazi doctors did to people in concentration camps. I will never get that demonic ally derived vaccine. God have mercy on us-there is a hell & the road to it is wide

  1. I guess one good thing to come out of all this is the realization that pharmaceutical companies have been using victims of feticides for decades in their manufacturing processes. And it’s not from “one solitary abortion performed in the 1960’s, etc” it’s from many, many intentional deaths in order to select the right sort of tissue or to find a live virus. If you read the clinical history of the development of the rubella component of the MMR vaccine there were something like 80 separate feticides committed during the research & manufacturing to come up with the final product.
    I first learned about this back in the 1990’s & unless I’m confused, I think it was actually through the Catholic World Report magazine. A Catholic school in the UK had refused the MMR vaccine due to this same moral issue with the rubella component. Since then we’ve had the chicken pox & several other tainted vaccines introduced.
    If we don’t take a stand it will only encourage more of this.

    • And that is why I shall not be taking the vaccine. I refused the Rubella jab as a teenager. House arrest doesn’t bother me one iota. I’m exhausted anyway.

  2. And now we learn that DC has passed legislation that allows the vaccinations of school children without the knowledge or consent of the parents and it is forbidden to give notice to the parents after the fact.

  3. So its ok to abort a baby for a vaccine of Covid with a 99% survival rate in the majority of the population???

    What kind of warped reasoning is that?

    Clearly someone who doesn’t get it.

  4. After all the abuses coming out of the Vatican sex , finance etc and all the most despairing choices PF makes I would find it hard to take anything they say seriously and what’s ok especially anything to do about an aborted baby!’n. Yikes after all whose Biden’s snd Chinas favorite pope ???

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