When the vaccines became available as “protection” against Coronavirus-19 in the Spring of 2021, I needed to think about whether I should get vaccinated or not.
A friend of mine, a micro-biologist and devout Catholic, was the first to bring to my attention that the vaccines were the product of test/development/experimented on aborted fetal cell lines. My immediate reaction was “negative”: I could not take these vaccines. I also inquired with a couple of priests.
I continued to study the subject of aborted fetal cell lines reading the findings from the Charlotte Lozier Institute; I listened to a video conference given by Janet Smith, The Morality of Covid Vaccines; I also read the work of the Catholic microbiologist, Pamela Acker, Vaccination: the Catholic Perspective.
As more and more of my network of Catholics contacts were getting vaccinated including clergy, I wondered whether I should not be doing what others were doing given the strong push for vaccination, Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson. I held nothing against those who decided to get vaccinated. They had their reasons. But what would be mine?
I heard about the “charity” argument; indeed, as Christians, charity is central to living out our faith. Vaccination as an act of charity towards our community, the common good, not just to protect ourselves but to protect others. The focus on charity was appealing, but the arguments did nothing for me. I simply was not convinced by the “common good” reasoning.
If Canadians were concerned about the common good, we would not have the abortion industry that we have. And if we had the collective determined effort to end abortion in Canada, we would be saving more lives from abortion than from Covid. In 2018 there were 83,576 abortions in Canada (Government of Canada Statistics); in 2021 there were 30,331 “Covid-related” deaths (Public Health Agency of Canada). Certainly, we can protest and demonstrate against abortion; but what personal measures can we take to defend life of the preborn baby, the most vulnerable of our community?
Am I to believe that the common good is to be taken seriously, as an incentive to get vaccinated, while we do not have any laws to protect the unborn?
I have heard the “remote material co-operation” of moral theologians which almost gives legitimacy to abortion-tainted vaccination since there is no “formal co-operation” where the person is directly implicated in the abortion. This means someone who gets vaccines that have been either tested/developed/ experimented with aborted fetal cell lines – would not be directly or “formally” participating in sin which is why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (December 21, 2020) gave its approval under the Covid-19 pandemic conditions.
Fr. David Bellusci, O.P.
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