The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said in a statement released on Monday that it was ethical for Roman Catholics to use coronavirus vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses.
In the document approved by Pope Francis on 17 December, the doctrinal congregation said that all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used, “with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion.”
The Catholic Church approves the use of vaccines produced with cell lines derived from two foetuses aborted in the 1960s, Vatican News said.
It is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted foetuses in their research and production process.
The “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines” comes as vaccinations begin in many countries and is aimed at clarifying doubts. However, it does not “intend to judge the safety and efficacy” of vaccines and focuses on the moral aspects.
Noting that a grave danger exists in the form of an “uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent,” the CDF stressed that vaccination is not a moral obligation and must be voluntary. But it said: “In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.”
The pharmaceutical industry and governments should ensure that effective and ethically acceptable vaccines are accessible to the poorest countries, it added.
Pope Francis, who has condemned “vaccine nationalism,” urged heads of state to “ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines and to the essential technologies needed to care for the sick, the poor and those who are most vulnerable.