Gallup, N.M., Aug 18, 2021 / 17:19 pm
Bishop James Wall of Gallup, New Mexico released a letter Wednesday reiterating that COVID-19 vaccines can be taken by Catholics “with a clear conscience,” while also asserting that the state ought not “universally mandate the vaccine without allowing for conscientious objection.”
Bishop Wall noted in the Aug. 18 letter that because of the remoteness of the material cooperation involved in taking the vaccines, and because of the benefit to the common good, “the Church has encouraged all eligible to receive the vaccines available.”
Before and as COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out, some Catholics raised concerns about the drugs’ remote connection to aborted fetal tissue. Those produced by Pfizer and Moderna were tested on cell lines likely derived from elective abortions decades ago, while the vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson was directly produced using the cell lines.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, echoing guidance from the Vatican, has since stated that all three vaccines approved for use in the United States are “morally acceptable” for use because of their remote connection with abortion, but if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.