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Catholics told to get any COVID shot available, even J & J’s manufactured with cells derived from aborted fetal remains

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne - South Bend diocese wants his parishioners to know the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was developed from abortion derived cell lines.

However, he still thinks it's okay for Catholics to get the vaccine.

"If I had a choice, I'd rather take Moderna or Pfizer than Johnson and Johnson, but one is not obligated… The Vatican has said it's morally licit to use these vaccines because it's a very remote material cooperation with abortion," he said.

Pharmaceutical companies continue to develop many vaccines using cells derived from aborted fetal remains.

In fact, the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines were preliminarily lab tested using those kinds of cells.

However, Johnson & Johnson used vaccine tissue from a fetus aborted in the 80s to manufacture its shots.

Bishop Rhoades says if a Catholic wants a COVID vaccine and no other option like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, there is no shame in getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

That prompted Bishop Rhoades, who's also the chairman of the Doctrine Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to release a statement about it.

"We expressed a preference for a use of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the use of Johnson and Johnson because the cooperation in abortion is less remote than with Pfizer and Moderna. But it's still remote, and therefore is allowed," Rhoades said.

First of all, Rhoades says getting a vaccine is an act of charity, not only for yourself, but also to protect the lives of the weak, the vulnerable, and the elderly.

He says, though, if a Catholic wants a COVID vaccine and no other option like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, there is no shame in getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

"We consider the use of these vaccines to be permissible because we consider what is called the Catholic theology 'remote material cooperation.' And that is morally allowed," he said.

Bishop Rhoades says the Catholic Church will continue to lobby pharmaceutical companies and the FDA not to use abortion derived cell lines in their research and products.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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