“Those who, however, for reasons of conscience, refuse vaccines produced with cell lines from aborted fetuses, must do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent,” the congregation wrote.
The NCBC noted that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s “balanced teaching is cited in full” in its statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
It added that its guidance highlights the need to consider the common good in choosing whether to be vaccinated.
“The NCBC fully acknowledges the complex and challenging decisions in conscience that institutions -- including Catholic health care organizations -- need to make not only for the sake of the persons they serve but also for the good of their employees. Respecting the conscientious judgments and religious beliefs of these employees is an indispensable dimension of this,” the Aug. 17 statement said.
It noted that the Joint National Hospital Association said last month that “mandatory vaccination policies needed appropriate accommodations for medical or religious reasons.”
Moreover, the NCBC wrote, its vaccine exemption resource “was created to help Catholics express the religious basis for accommodating their judgments of conscience. The Catholic faith provides many resources to inspire people to care for others, to serve the common good, and to make sound ethical decisions about how best to protect their own life and health.”
“The NCBC shall continue to help people to draw upon the deepest resources of the Catholic faith to address the many challenges posed by COVID-19 with integrity and charity,” it concluded.
Autumn Jones was a staff writer with Catholic News Agency through 2021. She is a graduate of Gonzaga University and the University of Colorado. She is based in Denver.
Joseph Bukuras is a staff writer at the Catholic News Agency. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Catholic University of America. He has interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, on a U.S. Senate campaign, in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives, and at the Susan B. Anthony List. He is based out of the Boston area.