The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Catholic ecclesial jurisdiction that governs parts of southern Louisiana, is warning against the new Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The FDA granted the new vaccine emergency authorization over the weekend. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires only one shot for inoculation, while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.
The archdiocese church said in a statement that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “morally compromised” because scientists developed it by using cells obtained from abortions.
“The latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing,” the statement read.
“Though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote,” the statement added.
The archdiocese church is instructing Catholics to choose either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s.
“We maintain that the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine remains one of individual conscience in consultation with one’s healthcare provider,” the church said. “We also maintain that in no way does the Church’s position diminish the wrongdoing of those who decided to use cell lines from abortions to make vaccines.”
“In doing so, we advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines,” the church continued.
The Archdiocese church’s view seems to be at odds with Pope Francis, who has been aggressively pro-vaccine.
The Vatican released a statement saying “it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”
Pope Francis also said that Catholics are morally obligated to receive the COVID vaccine.
“I believe that morally everyone must take the vaccine,” Francis said back in January. “It is the moral choice because it is about your life but also the lives of others.”