x
Breaking News
More () »

Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Portland bishop assures Maine Catholics they can receive J&J COVID-19 vaccine 'without moral reservation'

Bishop Robert Deeley addresses Maine Catholics' concerns with receiving a vaccine derived from the cell line derived from an aborted fetus.

PORTLAND, Maine — Some Roman Catholic leaders across the country are advising Catholics that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, newly approved for use in the U.S., is “morally compromised” because it is produced using a cell line derived from an aborted fetus.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) cited the use of a cell line derived from an aborted fetus in the development of the vaccine.

However, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Bishop Robert Deeley has deemed the vaccine acceptable to receive.

In a statement released Thursday, the Bishop said, "When it is your turn to receive a vaccine, you can receive the one that is offered to you without moral reservation." 

"I am in agreement with the recent statement of the USCCB that reminds us that 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," Deeley said.

Deeley goes on to say that if in the rare case one may choose which vaccine to receive, to select the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over Johnson & Johnson's. 

However, with the limited availability of vaccines, a choice in which one to receive rarely happens.

Bishop Deeley's Full Statement:

As I stated in December in regards to COVID-19 vaccines, we must thank God for the scientific advancement and dedication of those in the medical field that have led to these lifesaving vaccines during a global pandemic. When it is your turn to receive a vaccine, you can receive the one that is offered to you without moral reservation. The recent approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States has led to an increase in questions about whether Catholics and others can receive vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines. I am in agreement with the recent statement of the USCCB that reminds us that 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. 

However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s. 

While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”

In sum, as Catholics, we are called to serve humanity in caring for one another. Consider the fact that, during this pandemic, receiving a vaccine is not just for one’s own health, but for the health and safety of those around you. We continue to pray that God will grant healing, comfort, and peace to all affected by this pandemic.