The bishops of California have said that taking either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is not a sin, despite controversy that the vaccines are derived from embryonic stem cells.
In a December 3 statement, the California Catholic Conference of bishops stated that it, “affirms that the imminent Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are morally acceptable and commits to working closely with Catholic health care ministries and Catholic Charities to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in collaboration with state and local governments and other entities,” Catholic San Francisco reported.
The California bishops join many other bishops, including those of Alberta and Northwest Territories, who stated Dec. 2, “The Catholic Church does certainly support and encourage ethical scientific research into the development of vaccines that will mitigate or even end the harm caused by this terrible disease.”
However, the bishop of Fresno said a few weeks prior that there are concerns that the vaccine is derived from stem cells of an aborted baby.
Citing ethical concerns about the use of fetal cells in vaccine development, Bishop Joseph Brennan of Fresno has urged Catholics not to “jump on the COVID-19 vaccine bandwagon,” Los Angeles Times reported a few weeks ago.
Experts have explained that the vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer are made from proteins that do not come from embryonic or fetal tissues, ABC Action News stated.
Bishop Brennan explained, “I won’t be able to take a vaccine, I just won’t, brothers and sisters, and I encourage you not to, if it was developed with material derived from stem cells of a baby who was aborted. Or material that was cast off from artificial insemination.”
Kevin McCormack of the California Stem Cell Agency in Oakland explained that the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines, use ‘messenger RNA’. “So these are made from genetically tweaked proteins so they have nothing to do with embryonic tissue or fetal tissue,” he said.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine has reportedly been developed from cell-lines originating from the cells of an aborted fetus in 1983, and the bishops of England and Wales have stated that the vaccine is still morally acceptable, according to The Catholic Universe.