The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Opinion: Is taking the COVID-19 vaccine a moral duty?

As in any other decision, a prudential choice has to be made, taking one’s particular circumstances into consideration.

A man receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the atrium of the Paul VI hall at the Vatican in this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

The long-awaited anti-COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out1. It is presumed that they have been tested under the usual rigorous conditions, since they have been declared safe by the appropriate medical and governmental authorities. Only those suitably qualified and professionally recognized as such can judge their safety. The rest, including moral theologians, are at the mercy of their judgement. However, since the vaccines on offer are considered by many faithful Catholics to be ethically compromised2 because of the use of foetal stem-cells either in their production and/or in their testing, this theologian at least has been asked by a number conscientious faithful: is there a moral duty to take the vaccines considering the nature of the pandemic and its consequences, personal, social, and economic?

After much reflection, I came to the conclusion that: Yes, there is a duty – under certain conditions. Since there is no alternative at present,3 the COVID-19 vaccines on offer (at least in the EU and UK) are considered to be morally licit in the judgment of most theologians and Church authorities, including the CDF, even though most consider them to be morally compromised. This judgement is based on the traditional, Catholic moral distinction between formal and material co-operation in evil actions. The former is always illicit; the latter may be allowed, provided certain conditions are met, above all, the existence of a proportionate reason. In the case of the present vaccines, they are judged to amount to passive, remote, material co-operation in the evil of an abortion undertaken years ago, and so can be allowed, since the nature of the present pandemic is judged to be a proportionate reason. There is one proviso: that some form of protest is made at the use of foetal stem-cells. Otherwise, there is the danger of appearing to condone the use of foetal tissue from aborted babies, which is increasingly widespread in biomedical experimentation today.

To say that an action is licit, does not mean that anyone has any obligation to so act. Most vaccines are taken to protect oneself from an infection. As in any other decision, a prudential choice has to be made, taking one’s particular circumstances into consideration. For some, vaccines should be taken only after consultation with one’s GP, if there is a serious risk due to a person’s underlying condition or to the child in the womb. What is paramount here is the primacy of conscience, the voice of God echoing in our heart, when making the decision.

Some may be convinced in conscience that on ethical grounds they should not take the vaccine. That conviction would normally be justified with regard to those vaccines which are taken primarily to protect one’s own health from seriously disabling or life-threatening infections. However, COVID-19 (like other infectious diseases) is not only a threat to one’s own health and life, but to that of others – as well as indirectly causing havoc to the psychological, social, cultural, and economic well-being of society and its future.

Given the highly contagious and potentially lethal nature of the pandemic, allowing oneself to be vaccinated seems to this writer to amount to a duty to the common good. This applies not only to those, who are in immediate contact with the particularly vulnerable, such as the sick or the aged, or to those who provide essential public services, but to all adults.

Even so, some who have committed their lives to the pro-life movement have expressed a conscientious objection to taking the vaccines. The fact that experiments to produce other vaccines and therapies continue to use stem-cells from aborted children could persuade a pro-life protagonist to refuse on conscience grounds even vaccines judged morally licit by Church authorities, and so thereby making a public protest. One is reminded of Blessed Franz Jaegerstaetter, whose “conscience prevailed over the path of least resistance”. If protests by animal-rights protagonists to the use of animal tallow in the production of the new plastic currency forced the UK Government to find alternative material, pro-life activists can justifiably protest by way of refusal to use vaccines made from, or tested on, tissue from a child in his or her embryonic state.

On the other hand, a medical professional might refuse to take the vaccine based on his or her serious doubts about the validity of the testing. In parenthesis, one should not forget that the rush to produce a vaccine can hardly have been entirely altruistic. Pharmaceutical companies can expect unforeseen financial gain. Governments under intense political and economic pressure to end the pandemic could be tempted to tone down their specific duty of oversight.

That said, anyone who conscientiously refuses vaccination on either ethical or professional grounds has an even more serious obligation strictly to observe all COVID-19 regulations, if necessary self-isolating, depending on the danger to others they may pose.

Legislation to compel citizens to be vaccinated is being debated. Compulsory vaccination would amount to undue intervention by the State in matters that are fundamentally the responsibility of free persons – in a word a form of soft totalitarianism introduced under the pretext of a pandemic. Apart from any other consideration, the needed exceptions (in line with either medical or ethical grounds for refusing the vaccine) would be impossible to define legally in any way that would be just or fair, given the complexity of human situations.

The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating (loss of life, depression, suicide, abuse within families, unemployment, missed educational opportunities, etc.), leaving long-term economic and psychological damage in its wake. And while the media has kept us informed during the stages of the pandemic, the unrelenting obsession with COVID-19 by the media has added to the psychological burden of the crisis. Given the increasing sense of panic, even hysteria, a majority could easily be persuaded to take such radical measures, namely compulsory vaccination, which, apart from criminalizing the innocent (those who refuse on conscience grounds), would in the long term do untold damage to our already fragile Western democracy. People are so desperate to end the pandemic that they could be willing to turn a blind eye to the means used. The consequences of letting the end justify the means are always fatal.

On February 8 last, the President of the Pontifical Commission of the Vatican City State, “having obtained the advice of Superior Authority,” presumably the Pope, issued a Decree with regard matters pertaining to public health in an emergency. The Decree stipulates various regulations that come into effect in the case of a worldwide pandemic, such as we have at present. Most of the regulations are no different to those in place in most countries to combat COVID-19.

But the Decree also indicates that, should compulsory vaccination be needed, then those who refuse to be vaccinated without a medical reason could face serious penalties. The penalties are not spelt-out in detail, apart from indicating that the penalty would be proportionate to the delict. However, the Decree declares that those who refuse without a medical reason would be subject to an earlier regulation [dated November 18, 2011], which, in art. 6, provides for sanctions up to and including dismissal from employment in case of non-compliance with similar regulations. The Decree itself underlines the need to respect the human rights of all who work in, or are resident in, Vatican City State, which, presumably. would include those who refuse to be vaccinated on grounds of conscience for either of the two reasons mentioned above.

It should be remembered that Vatican City State is the smallest in the world. Its citizens, inhabitants, and those who work there, are in close proximity to each other, so that the respective authorities could judge it reasonable and proportionate to make vaccination compulsory.

In response to an outcry on social media, a clarification of the Decree was issued today by the same authority to the effect that there would be no punishment for those who refused the vaccine. It denied that the Decree was meant to be “sanctioning or punitive” and said that “freedom of individual choice” was important and would be respected. However, it also added that that certain jobs may require vaccination. And that is understandable. If they cannot be relocated to another job, and are dismissed, then they should retain the right to return to their workplace, once the pandemic is over. Such would also applies equally to those working in corporations or companies (e.g. airlines or private hospitals), the nature of which would make vaccination compulsory, and so face dismissal. Justice demands that a dismissal would be temporary. In the case of those who cannot take the vaccine, or refuse on medical or conscientious grounds, then they have a duty to take all the other precautions more stringently than usual to avoid spreading the virus.

(Note: The author, who lives in a Religious community of mostly senior clerics, decided to take the vaccine last Thursday as a duty of care to his confreres, after having first consulted with his own doctor, and the doctor in charge of administrating the vaccine, with regard to various serious medical underlying condition, both of whom agreed that he should take the anti-COVID-19 vaccine. The opinions here are his alone and do not necessarily represent the views of CWR or Ignatius Press staff.)

Endnotes:

1 This article is based on two of my answers to three questions posed by David Quinn, Founder and Director of The Iona Institute, Dublin, to a number of Irish moral theologians and philosophers: “There is a duty to take the vaccine, but it should not be compelled”. The third question asks whether or not corporations (e.g., aviation companies or health-care-institutions) should be obliged to take the vaccine.

2 See, however, the important article by Melissa Moschella, “The Covid Vaccines Are Not ‘Morally compromised’” in Public Discourse. The Journal of the Witherspoon Institute, January 4, 2021.

3 At present there is no alternative, ethically uncompromised vaccine available for general distribution. However, I am reliably informed that there is a medical alternative to all the vaccine, both as a preventive but also, in case of contracting Covid-19, an effective cure, which is ethically sound, but not widely known: Ivermectin; see the statement by American Frontline Doctors.


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About Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, SVD 11 Articles
Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, S.V.D. holds both a Ph.D. in Theology and is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland. A former doctoral student under Joseph Ratzinger, Twomey is the author of several books, including The End of Irish Catholicism?, Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age (A Theological Portrait), and Moral Theology after Humanae Vitae. In 2011, Benedict XVI awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal to Fr. Twomey for outstanding services rendered to the Church and to the Holy Father.

46 Comments

  1. “That conviction would normally be justified with regard to those vaccines which are taken primarily to protect one’s own health from seriously disabling or life-threatening infections. However, COVID-19 (like other infectious diseases) is not only a threat to one’s own health and life, but to that of others – as well as indirectly causing havoc to the psychological, social, cultural, and economic well-being of society and its future.”

    That sounds a great deall like using emotional blackmail on us to do something without making a prudential choice.

    “There is one proviso: that some form of protest is made at the use of foetal stem-cells.”

    Protest to whom? And just how effective is a protest that consists of, “I don’t want to do this but I’ll do it anyway?”

    “However, COVID-19 (like other infectious diseases) is not only a threat to one’s own health and life, but to that of others”

    Exactly. Just like other infectious diseases.

    “And while the media has kept us informed during the stages of the pandemic,”

    Have they? They’ve said quite a bit, but how much of it is actually true? Even if I assumed goodwill on their part (and I don’t), they don’t know much, and judging by the flip-flopping about, for example, masks, neither do scientists.

    • You are very right. We need more people like you to have courage and push back against this nonsense. Emotional blackmail as you put it perfectly describes what is happening here. Blessings to you during this Lenten Journey.

    • Leslie, Spot on! Scientists say “we are all in this together”. The “sin” of supporting the idea that COVID serum comes from fetal tissue may pale with the overwhelming need to save our society. We are now in a real fight with our new enemy… the lethal coronavirus which if fought as it entered our country in January 2020. Trump knew at that time that the virus was “a dangerous viral threat”. (Bob Woodward interview). He held that fact from the scientists and the citizens. Fast forward to February 2021. Deaths have reached 500,000 and counting of innocent souls. In the early stages of the virus proliferation Trump downplayed the pandemic as a “hoax” and passed the management issue to the states where confusion set in and it became apparent that they were competing with each other to acquire the PPE.s. Now that he is finally a civilian he will never be held accountable. Yet, the Catholic Church gives him a pass on his magnanimously sinful life because “he is the only president to be pro-life” when, in fact, he was pro-choice all of his adult life.

      I have inquired to whether Pfizer produced the vaccine using fetal tissue and the answer was NO! I have also heard from some that that is not true.
      As Catholics we must remain strong that elective abortion is a grave mortal sin. Protection of the unborn is vital to societies’ future.

      • 100,000 deaths since Biden took office. I’m waiting for you to blame him for them. They must be his fault, because he’s president, by your reasoning.

        “Trump downplayed the pandemic as a “hoax””

        Trump acted quickly to block flights from China, and had people hysterically flailing and shrieking “Raaaaacist!” Were you one of them?

        Unlike you, I’m glad to have had a president who didn’t try to send the whole population into panic and despair.

        Trump didn’t “pass the management issue to the states.” He recognized the fact that it was the role of the states, not the federal government, to deal with much of it.

        Unfortunately you had people like Cuomo sending coronavirus-infected people to nursing homes that were full of vulnerable people.

        “magnanimously sinful”

        I do not think that word means what you think it means.

        “I have inquired to whether Pfizer produced the vaccine using fetal tissue and the answer was NO! I have also heard from some that that is not true.”

        I posted this link further down the page; here it is again

        https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/which-covid-19-vaccines-are-connected-to-abortion

        Tissue from aborted fetuses was used in the testing, though not the production.

      • Morgan,
        It’s quite confusing to sift through all the info but the Pfizer vaccine like a number of other vaccines, pharmaceuticals and even Nestles flavored coffee creamers were tested out using a certain fetal cell line. Those vaccines and products don’t contain fetal cells.
        Maggi brand boullion, catsup, etc. also uses the service of a company that tests out flavorings and sweeteners using the same fetal cell line.
        A poular brand of Rheumatoid arthritis medication, and a number of life saving medications were tested in the same manner. I read today that may include insulin and a host of other medications.
        Other vaccines like rubella and chicken pox have a more direct connection to feticides.
        I think the whole thing is terrible and it’s obvious that our food and pharmaceutical companies seem to have little regard for the sanctity of innocent life.

      • You are confused about Trump. He knew, as many of us do, that there is a treatment which if used early almost everyone survives. See link at the end of this document regarding ivermectin. Ivermectin is a zinc ionophore just like HCQ which the “scientists” lied about because they wanted to inoculate every person world- wide.

        There is a law that an infection with a successful treatment does NOT allow for a vaccine to be made. Please can we all begin to pay attention to details! Amen.

    • Totally on target, Leslie. Thank you! There’s a great article on LifeSiteNews saying taking the vaccine does not meet Catholic doctrine for taking the vaccine. It’s well worth reading and presents the criteria for being able to take an abortion-tainted vaccine. It must meet four conditions.I urge people to read the article. I certainly will not take it. I’ve spent my entire adult life defending the unborn. I will certainly not abandon the babies now. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-doc-confirms-its-mortally-sinful-to-take-or-facilitate-covid-vaccine-priest

  2. Devil’s Advocate: I’m gonna kill the babies and then cause a pandemic as a result of my sins then you’ll only be cured by the end result of my first cause and offense. This is a circular logic that has no valid answer except to stop the circular logic in its own track and refuse the vaccine. These guys can make a vaccine without fetal cells from aborted babies.

  3. For an opposing view, read Phil Lawler’s piece in Catholic Culture,’Why I won’t take a job at the Vatican’. A problem I have with the idea of obligation, which Lawler touches on, is Fr Twomey’s ignoring of the experimental nature of the ‘vaccine’. No one is under an obligation to be a test subject.

  4. Quite aside from the issue of the use of aborted fetuses in the development of the vaccines, there is the unambiguous nature of the vaccines themselves. All of them are presently regarded to be in an experimental stage of development and the human population is being enlisted as lab rats. The justification for this is the highly infectious nature of the virus, but the recovery rate of this disease is essentially 99%. There can be no justification in endangering human life with a vaccine developed under morally compromised conditions and foisting it upon the population without having a thorough understanding of the long term consequences of genetically operative therapeutics. It cannot be ignored that within the epidemiological academy itself has articulated significant objections the current mainstream perspective. There are more cautions offered for the use of Tylenol than are offered in relation to these vaccines. How frequently do we endure commercials from legal offices regarding the tragic side-effects of medications?
    We are witnessing an engineered episode of mass social hysteria and, mournfully, a theological academy anxious for credence from an atheistic medical/pharmaceutical industry complicit with a political agenda that is antithetical to Jesus Christ, His Catholic Church and the broader spectrum of devout Christians. This is not merely an inadequate response from the clergy class and Catholic academia but a scandalous one as well.
    Far better reasoning is required for justifying this experimental protocol than what is presented here or from the Bergoglian establishment in Rome. Perhaps if we all were more cautious about our eternal consequences rather than our temporal reputations and the inevitable natural termination all of us face we would have a realistic perspective on the depraved situation we presently endure. It would be edifying to receive from pope and priests an anxious admonishment that we all be greatly more concerned to pass away in the state of Grace.
    When the Son of Man returns will He find any faith upon the earth?

    • I could not have said it better myself, James. These are not “vaccines” at all and the use of that word to label them is itself a lie. We should all question why ‘authorities’ think this rape of the English language (and perhaps of other modern languages as well) is necessary. The article above simply assumes many things asserted by the likes of Mr. Tony Fauci and others of his ilk are true, but those asseverations are far from being unquestionable. Many of us — certainly my wife and I — think biological materials rushed to market without standard testing and in an atmosphere that bordered on hysteria thanks to irresponsible media, are fraught with dangers. We have no intention whatsoever of being Pfizer’s or anyone else’s guinea pigs.

      And, when we hear medical assurances now that these products are safe and effective, let us not forget that, not that long ago, Fauci was dead wrong in his analysis of where HIV-AIDS was going, saying it would inevitably break out into the population favoring normal rather than perverted sexual practices; if he’s that wrong this time, a lot of us could end up very sick or dead. (He reminds me mightily of the ‘doctors’ I used to see in the Lucky Strike ads, all decked out in a white coats and with a stethoscope hanging around the neck. They assured us Lucky Strike was just a great cigarette, that in fact it toasted our lungs! Then there was Fauci’s haughty [but correct] dismissal last year of wearing face masks to stop viruses. Naturally, that was before he later decided masks were hunky-dory barriers against viruses, indeed that two masks were even better than one to stop those mean old viruses!)

    • Exactly.

      “How frequently do we endure commercials from legal offices regarding the tragic side-effects of medications?
      We are witnessing an engineered episode of mass social hysteria and, mournfully, a theological academy anxious for credence from an atheistic medical/pharmaceutical industry complicit with a political agenda that is antithetical to Jesus Christ, His Catholic Church and the broader spectrum of devout Christians. This is not merely an inadequate response from the clergy class and Catholic academia but a scandalous one as well.”

      What is so obviously missing from many of the theologians writings and others who speak their mind on the subject of this pandemic is the call to prayer, penance and trust in God. Evidence of leadership in the spiritual life department is indeed scant. Care for the body is paramount while care for the souls of the flocks is almost non-existent.

  5. Almost all of your the list of ill effects “…depression, suicide, abuse within families, unemployment, missed educational opportunities, etc.” Are caused by government tyranny. Panic, grasping for power, and the lack of understanding that we’re all going to die of something someday anyway, have driven the insanity of turning entire nations into prison camps because some people are afraid. And now that mindless panic makes taking a badly tested medication with morally abhorrent sources and unknown future side effects a moral imperative. No.

  6. There is no reason that we should be told to be involved in taking any vaccine that any fetal cells were used if only for testing. When the Bishops finally stands up and put a stop to abortion then the world will see real medical breakthroughs.we have killed 48 years of human ingenuity that never was permitted to change the world as God had intended them to do. Nothing will change for the better until this terrible scourge is removed from the world. God had a much better plan for us than we are now experiencing and it is not beyond our reach if we are willing to repent and say Yes to His Will and not our own.

  7. Father is so lacking in good judgement by writing this article. The truth about these so called vaccines is being proclaimed all over the internet. It is not just a matter of the use of fetal cell lines, it goes much, much further. Participating in the USE of human embryos and the life of our own bodies is involved here. Please use your head and investigate on your own. You might try LifeSite News.

  8. Hmm. If I have a moral duty to take a vaccine with ties to abortion, why don’t those who are obese have a duty to loose weight? Why don’t those with low Vit D have a duty to get out in the sun more? Low levels of Zinc should supplement. Smokers need to quit. Those with high blood pressure need to be required to do the DASH Diet.
    .
    Very disappointing no one in authority has mentioned the things that really will work to get Covid (and a LOT of other diseases) under control.
    .

  9. Interesting clergy concern about spreading infectious diseases to others. Let’s talk about the decades long practice of hundreds of people drinking the precious blood from the same cup at mass. Will this practice return after the pandemic is over. There are many other infectious diseases.

  10. With respect, Fr Twomy has made a gigantic logical error. My getting a vaccine (or not) does not remotely affect the health of other people who have the right to get the vaccine themselves. The only time this would become an issue is when I work in a hospital with vulnerable people who are NOT ABLE to take the vaccine. So, one could argue that health care workers are under a qualified duty to take the vaccine; at large, however, people are not. This line is at the very center of the CDF’s letter on this issue: “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.” Fr Alexander MacDonald, JD, STL (Moral Theology).

  11. So if I take the vaccine because of the emotional blackmail to protect the common good, is the common good going to be there for me if I have a serious reaction or long term affects, no. Many doctors are saying this vaccine is a huge experiment as humans have never been injected with mRNA. And what we’re being fed by the propagandist media isn’t all truthful. I suggest reading the articles on the Children’s Health Defense website for information on Covid vaccine deaths and vaccine injuries.

  12. I can’t agree that we “are at the mercy” of “appropriate medical and governmental authorities” especially when we live in an age when no one can be trusted– especially medical and governmental authorities. God gave us each a brain and an intellect and He expects us to use it. He does not expect us to have blind faith in anyone or anything– He doesn’t even demand that we have blind faith in Him. God allows us to discover him through both faith and reason.

    One part that the author gets right is that merely being “licit” is a very low bar, much like the imprimatur on a book. That doesn’t guarantee that the book is the best possible treatment of a subject or even that it is worth one’s time– it only suggests that the book won’t do any harm. Even if one accepts that a vaccine is licit, to go from that to say that one has a moral duty to take it is a huge leap that is very difficult to justify. Unfortunately, the author fails to give any rational justification for that.

  13. “Some may be convinced in conscience that on ethical grounds they should not take the vaccine. That conviction would normally be justified with regard to those vaccines which are taken primarily to protect one’s own health from seriously disabling or life-threatening infections. However, COVID-19 (like other infectious diseases) is not only a threat to one’s own health and life, but to that of others – as well as indirectly causing havoc to the psychological, social, cultural, and economic well-being of society and its future.”

    So what if any disease is a threat to others? What morality demands is that human beings be held responsible for their own free actions. A microbe is not controllable except with the most extreme of measures (i.e. in a bio lab or possibly hospital) which can’t ethically be compelled for people living a normal life.

    “That said, anyone who conscientiously refuses vaccination on either ethical or professional grounds has an even more serious obligation strictly to observe all COVID-19 regulations, if necessary self-isolating, depending on the danger to others they may pose.”

    Again a person can’t be held responsible for any possibility that he may inadvertently and uncontrollably be causing harm to others.

    “Given the highly contagious and potentially lethal nature of the pandemic, allowing oneself to be vaccinated seems to this writer to amount to a duty to the common good. This applies not only to those, who are in immediate contact with the particularly vulnerable, such as the sick or the aged, or to those who provide essential public services, but to all adults.”

    I don’t think that the common good is understood here. I believe that the common good is primarily (at least in one sense) the result of universal respect for the rights of every human being. A person is primarily responsible for his own soul and secondarily for his own life. It is possible to give one’s life for another, but outside of a bodyguard or soldier this can’t be a duty. The rule is that charity doesn’t oblige under grave inconvenience, so one can’t have a duty to subject oneself to a medical procedure that is believed to help others while the person himself may doubt that it will help him.

    “The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating (loss of life, depression, suicide, abuse within families, unemployment, missed educational opportunities, etc.), leaving long-term economic and psychological damage in its wake. And while the media has kept us informed during the stages of the pandemic, the unrelenting obsession with COVID-19 by the media has added to the psychological burden of the crisis.”

    This quote seems to reveal a lack of knowledge (charitably speaking).

    First, it is doubtful that any suffering is useless. While not desired or approved of, the suffering that human’s inflict on each other is used by God to accomplish a greater good.

    Second, the ALLEGED virus COVID-19 is not what has caused most of the human suffering. This would actually be the result of immoral decisions on the part of politicians, the media, scientists, and corporations taken in response to the alleged virus. The alleged virus doesn’t have the ability to remove the free will from humans who have perpetrated – under the cover of “caring” – the most massive crime against other humans in history.

    Finally, it is highly doubtful that the media is doing much more than perpetrating a deception in service of fear-mongering and to benefit whoever may be “pulling their strings.” Any damage that they do is indirect and somewhat optional. There is no reason that a person needs to pay attention to them at all. It is always possible to select one’s media sources or to choose not to get news at all.

    “However, it also added that that certain jobs may require vaccination. And that is understandable. If they cannot be relocated to another job, and are dismissed, then they should retain the right to return to their workplace, once the pandemic is over. Such would also applies equally to those working in corporations or companies (e.g. airlines or private hospitals), the nature of which would make vaccination compulsory, and so face dismissal.”

    If vaccination can’t be compelled, then neither can it be a condition of employment. An employer can’t have a right to do a wrong.

    Who knows if the alleged pandemic will ever be over? In the fictional dystopia 1984, the governments of the world were allegedly constantly at war with each other. How is it not known that TPTB haven’t taken their playbook and will attempt to indefinitely “fight” a fictitious virus?

    More realistically a pandemic is a result of a human definition. Somehow there are criteria that are used. If there is any deception (and this must always be considered in our fallen world), then one can’t expect that any human defined phenomena will ever be over.

    This is along the lines of so-called “states of emergency.” These creatures of government are arbitrarily declared by politicians when there is some reason to for emergency powers to be assumed by the government. By nature they are unjust, because government must always be just.

    • Children Of God For Life has a huge amount of information on the various Covid vaccines and also a number of other vaccines which are even more problematic than the Pfizer and Moderna Covid products.
      I think it’s complicated. I have supported Children Of God For Life for over a decade, before the whole Covid issue emerged. I have refused to allow myself or my children to be injected with vaccines such as rubella, chickenpox, shingles, etc. which are manufactured directly from vivisected infants’ tissues. Its beyond appalling when you research the processes behind those vaccines.
      However, now we are learning that fetal cell lines are used in labs everywhere to test any number of consumer products and pharmaceuticals. If we are to be ethically consistent, do we avoid all of those products also? Or do we only avoid the Covid vaccines ? I expect we have all unwittingly been consumers of things tested this way.
      I’m on the side of eliminating any and all products that have a tainted origin or testing process but we need to realize that encompasses way more than the Covid vaccines and it seems a shame that very few people paid any attention to this issue until Covid and politics entered into the debate.
      Hopefully this will be a wake up call.
      God bless!

  14. THANK YOU, Fr Vincent, for this timely & very helpfully laid out careful consideration of the ethical dilemmas faced by each of us in the pro-life movement when offered vaccination. It is exactly what we need right now, well constructed & clearly presented views to help bring light & structure to our deliberations on the morality & possible obligation of having a Covid-19 vaccination.
    Your judgements on whether there is a moral duty to do so are hugely helpful to anyone needing to reach their own judgements, & to be able to explain them.
    I am sorry & saddened to read the responses above, but also angry at the wildly flung untruths, helpful to no-one & unjustifiably promulgated, confusion causing & potentially light & life limiting.
    Jesus, light of, & for, the world, please, in your mercy to all, still shine your light, lead us to life abundant, self aggrandizement abandoned. Thank you.
    We have a pandemic of a highly infectious new viral illness which has already killed millions & left one third of its victims not able to be described as recovered..

  15. If the Vatican under Pope Francis is promoting something, it is most likely antithetical to the Christian Faith. I will not be taking the vaccine. It is both unnecessary and impossible to justify on any moral grounds.

  16. The Catholic Church and other Christian churches who are anti abortion have the organized ability to protest formally from the Parish level all the way up. I have not seen any organized protest or organized demand for those vaccines already close to distribution that are completely ethical and licit. The Catholic Church has funds that could back such vaccines already in process as well as fully funding that being developed by the John Paul II Imstitute……instead even the JPI II is asking for reader donations instead!!

    I have seen only recommendations to Catholics and Christians to “make known their objections” as individuals.
    Instead of sending a dollar here and a dollar there the Church(es) could make use of their already in place campaign capable structures.

  17. I consider my Moral duty is to put my life and death in Gods hands. No man is going to control or contribute to that. Whatever they try.

  18. Well said Somerton.! The Catholic Church claims that we believe that God is the author of life and death but we are not living that belief. We are living in fear. God the creator of life knows the moment we will leave this sinful world whether it be death caused by cancer, car accident, murder, suicide, COVID-19, or falling asleep and not wake up. If God wants us to live he will allow it. We need to stop living in fear we are called to be strong and courageous. Why aren’t we fighting for those precious babies that are being aborted?! Evil continues to grow because good men continue to do nothing.

  19. Vaccines associated with aborted fetal stem lines, even in testing, are not an option for me. In my own mind this encourages more abortions by making the use of aborted fetal cell lines acceptable. Avoiding abortions is important because at conception I see an eternal individual capable of union with God.

    Using these vaccines is like buying stolen goods from a fence – you can say that the fence did not steal the goods but buying from the fence encourages more stealing! I have heard the argument that compares of the use of the aborted fetal cell lines to organ donations; however, that is like saying buying goods donated to Good Will is the same as buying stolen goods from a fence. In the case of the vaccines, what is stolen is a life.

    Not taking the vaccine poses risks to me, a seventy-year-old asthmatic, others, and my family, but I believe in a God who does not condone doing evil for a greater good. If my trust in God, results in a cross, so be it, I trust God will draw some good out of it. I will not deny God because the lions may eat me and my family.

    • The Novavax vaccine is due out this Spring. It was not developed or tested using fetal cells and is 90% effective (60% effective against the South African strain). So for us pro-lifers, an option is coming!

      From the Catholic Culture website:

      The NovaVax, Sanofi, and Inovio vaccines were apparently developed and produced without any involvement of fetal tissues. (All of the vaccines mentioned here are being developed with the help of US government funding.)

  20. Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe and Effective is Lying Paperback – March 27, 2019
    by Dr Vernon Coleman (Author)
    “The facts about vaccination – so that you can make up your own mind. Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA has been researching and writing about vaccines for 50 years. He has lectured doctors and nurses on the subject. He used to debate vaccination on TV and radio but won every public debate and these days vaccine supporters will no longer debate with him.”

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