By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY • Catholic parents should vaccinate their children for the good of their children and the community, and they can do so with a “clear conscience” that “the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion,” said the Pontifical Academy for Life.
In July 2017, the Vatican-related academy issued updated moral considerations on vaccinations given that many of the most common vaccines for measles, rubella and chickenpox are prepared from cell lines that originally were developed from a female fetus aborted in 1964 and a male fetus aborted in 1966.
Questions about the moral standing of some vaccines recently arose in a litigation case out of Kentucky involving a Catholic academy whose handbook provided for conscientious objection. The handbook cited a 2005 Vatican declaration that defined as “morally illicit the development of vaccines from aborted fetal tissue.” The K-12 school is affiliated with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. The 2005 declaration urged parents to ask their physicians to use vaccines not derived from the cell lines of the fetuses aborted in the 1960s if such vaccines exist and, if they don’t, to write to pharmaceutical companies urging the development of alternate vaccines. Nevertheless, it said, the Church affirms it is morally licit to use the vaccines “in the meantime insomuch as is necessary in order to avoid a serious risk not only for one’s own children but also, and perhaps more specifically, for the health conditions of the population as a whole, especially for pregnant women.”
The Pontifical Academy of Life’s updated statement, issued in July 2017 after a World Health Organization study showed a “progressive trend” against vaccinations in Italy, said that “the cell lines currently in use are very distant from the original abortions and no longer imply that bond of moral cooperation indispensable for an ethically negative evaluation of their use.”
“The technical characteristics of the production of the vaccines most commonly used in childhood lead us to exclude that there is a morally relevant cooperation between those who use these vaccines today and the practice of voluntary abortion,” the statement said. On the other hand, the Pontifical Academy said, there is a “moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others.”[[In-content Ad]]