The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a statement approved by the Pope, saying that the fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally lawful is that the type of cooperation in evil by those who use the resulting vaccines is remote. It is also a “moral imperative” to make sure “that vaccines, which are effective and safe from a medical point of view, as well as ethically acceptable, are also accessible to the poorest countries”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issue as press release today, approved by the Pope, whereby it “is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
The statement comes as a response to “several requests for guidance regarding the use of vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, which, in the course of research and production, employed cell lines drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century.”
The Congregation does “not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies. Here, our objective is only to consider the moral aspects of the use of the vaccines”.
“As the Instruction Dignitas Personae states, in cases where cells from aborted fetuses are employed to create cell lines for use in scientific research, ‘there exist differing degrees of responsibility’ of cooperation in evil. For example, ‘in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision’.
“The fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally licit is that the kind of cooperation in evil (passive material cooperation) in the procured abortion from which these cell lines originate is, on the part of those making use of the resulting vaccines, remote. The moral duty to avoid such passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent – in this case, the pandemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
“It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.
“It should be emphasized, however, that the morally licit use of these types of vaccines, in the particular conditions that make it so, does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion, and necessarily assumes the opposition to this practice by those who make use of these vaccines.
“In fact, the licit use of such vaccines does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses. Both pharmaceutical companies and governmental health agencies are therefore encouraged to produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated.
The statement ends, noting the existence of “a moral imperative for the pharmaceutical industry, governments and international organizations to ensure that vaccines, which are effective and safe from a medical point of view, as well as ethically acceptable, are also accessible to the poorest countries in a manner that is not costly for them. The lack of access to vaccines, otherwise, would become another sign of discrimination and injustice that condemns poor countries to continue living in health, economic and social poverty.”