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Omaha Catholic leaders say any COVID-19 vaccines are “morally acceptable”

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Catholic leaders renew the call that it’s okay to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

While Moderna and Pfizer are preferred, no one seems to have that luxury to pick.

This isn’t a new debate. The issue about the testing and production of vaccines has been amplified this week after the Archdiocese of New Orleans called the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “morally compromised.”

The Omaha Archdiocese is comprised of 235,000 Catholics and this covers the Omaha-metro and 23 counties in Northeastern Nebraska.

But the Vatican has been clear since November that it’s morally acceptable to receive the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“Receiving this vaccine doesn’t imply support for abortions,” said Dr. Steve Doran.

Dr. Doran is a bioethicist, COVID-19 Task Force member, and a consultant with the Omaha Archdiocese. For decades, many vaccines have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.

“The cell lines were created decades ago from a single tragically aborted baby and I don’t want to minimize that. It’s tragic. It’s not that there is ongoing production of cells that relies on a woman to have an abortion and providing cells, that’s not how it works,” said Dr. Doran.

Pfizer and Moderna used the cell lines in testing and Johnson & Johnson is the production.

“The vaccines have no fetal tissue in it. People don’t have to be worried. They’re not receiving fetal tissue,” said Dr. Doran.

In a perfect world experts say, the moral choice is to pick the vaccine with the most distant connection to evil. But because demand outweighs supply now, none of us get the option.

“There’s no conflict here with science and faith. We are put in a situation where we are forced to interact with evil in some way and how close are we -- even though we morally object to abortion -- it’s so far away in distance that given the severity of the pandemic, we choose to accept that. But under protest,” said Dr. Doran.

Without getting to choose our vaccine, the Vatican stresses that you can get any of them in good conscience and that it doesn’t imply you agree with abortion.

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