Vatican permits use of COVID-19 vaccines made using aborted foetal tissue
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican told Catholics on Monday that it was morally acceptable to use COVID-19 vaccines, even if cell lines were used to make them from broken fetal tissues.
A note from the Vatican's teaching congregation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the use of such vaccines is permitted as long as there are no alternatives.
Both Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc vaccines have some association with cell lines derived from tissue from abortion in the last century, according to the US Bishops' Conference (USCCB), which issued a separate notice to American Catholics last week.
The Vatican Note states that the granting of moral legitimacy is related to the principle of "different degrees of responsibility for cooperation in evil".
This meant that because the pandemic poses such a great threat, such vaccines "can be used with a clear conscience, knowing that (it) is not a formal collaboration with the abortion from which the cells used to make the vaccines come ". the note said.
In the absence of safe vaccines from other sources, "it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used aborted fetal cell lines in their research and production process."
The American bishops said the vaccines used cell lines derived from tissue obtained from two abortions in the 1960s and 1970s, which have been replicated frequently since then.
The Vatican Note states that the use of such vaccines "does not in itself represent any legitimation, not even indirectly, of the practice of abortion".
She called on the pharmaceutical industry to develop fully ethical vaccines, as well as governments and international organizations to make them available to poorer countries.
The Vatican note states that while vaccine use was voluntary, "the common good may recommend vaccination, particularly to protect the most vulnerable and most exposed."
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson and Hugh Lawson)
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