Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The LuLac Edition #4, 480, March 10th, 2021



Our “Write On Wednesday” logo

This week Johnson & Jonson vaccines hit the streets as part o the fight against Covid. But there were moral concerns given the ingredient of the shot. Pro life Catholic were concerned but the Bishop of the Scranton Diocese  made a common sense statement. This is from the Times Leader.



As the spiritual leader of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s 249,000-member Roman Catholic community, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera’s voice carries a great deal of weight in the region. That’s why what he said last Thursday was so important.

Bambera issued a statement urging the faithful to receive any COVID-19 vaccine that is clinically safe and effective.

If that sounds like a no-brainer to you, chances are you aren’t aware of the controversy that has arisen about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is produced using a cell line derived from an aborted fetus.

We’ll come back to the logistics of that last part in a moment, but first, the controversy.

As reported Wednesday by The Associated Press, Roman Catholic leaders in St. Louis and New Orleans advised their parishioners that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, newly approved for use in the U.S., is “morally compromised” because of its origins.

Neither bishop specifically told worshippers not to take the J&J vaccine, but they did encourage Catholics to seek out the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and avoid the Johnson & Johnson version if possible.

We believe that putting such doubts in the minds of people at this critical time was irresponsible.

 We know — just as those bishops know — how seriously the issue of abortion weighs on the minds and consciences of so many Catholics, some of whom would be genuinely hesitant about the J&J vaccine, especially after hearing the leaders of two major dioceses raising the issue.

By contrast, Scranton’s Bambera laid out the realities of the situation in clear, no-nonsense language.

“While fully recognizing the complex moral and ethical issues involved in vaccine development, at this time, people are not being given a true choice of which vaccine they receive, and likely won’t be without a lengthy delay,” Bambera wrote.

“People should not delay getting a vaccine. Receiving a vaccine not only protects an individual’s health but also serves the common good by protecting the community — including the weak and vulnerable,” said the bishop.

Bambera also explained that this position is supported by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including a link to the Congregation’s December 2020 Note on the Morality of using some anti-COVID vaccines. For those who don’t know, the Congregation is responsible for safeguarding the doctrine on faith and morals.

Now back to the J&J vaccine for a moment.

While not disputing the church officials’ contention that an abortion-derived cell line is used in the production, Johnson & Johnson issued a statement last week stressing that there is no fetal tissue in its vaccine.

As the Associated Press explained, Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is made using a harmless cold virus, called an adenovirus, the same technology it used to produce a successful Ebola vaccine. The adenovirus is grown using what’s called an immortalized cell line, and the virus then is pulled out and purified.

Several types of cell lines created decades ago using fetal tissue exist and are widely used in medical manufacturing. However the cells in them today are clones of the early cells, not the original tissue.

While we can understand the moral concerns this poses for those who are opposed to abortion, the distance between those cloned cells and the original tissue is undeniable, and makes what may seem to be a black-and-white issue to some a gray area for many others when the health of millions is in danger.

Without using those words, Bambera seemed to acknowledge as much.

The risks of not getting vaccinated or delaying vaccination at a time when supplies can be erratic certainly seems to present a greater evil — more serious illness and deaths among more Americans — than the use of a vaccine tied to cell lines linked with decades-old abortions.

Even Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards — an anti-abortion Democrat — stressed the need for people to use any of the approved vaccines available in order to stop the spread of the virus.

We applaud those, including Bishop Bambera, Bel Edwards and the Vatican itself, for sending a clear message on a vital issue of public health.


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