CNA Staff, Mar 3, 2021 / 15:19 pm
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday reiterated the Vatican's teaching on COVID-19 vaccines produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines, after a vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson received FDA approval over the weekend.
The bishops echoed the Vatican in stating that it is "morally acceptable" to receive COVID-19 vaccines produced using cell lines from aborted fetuses when no alternative is available, but if possible, Catholics ought to choose a vaccine with a more remote connection to abortion.
"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that 'when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available…it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process,'" the bishops wrote in a March 2 statement.
That description applies to the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which used PER.C6, which according to Science magazine is "a proprietary cell line owned by Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, developed from retinal cells from an 18-week-old fetus aborted in 1985", in design and development, production, and lab testing.