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LEXINGTON — The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 do not pose moral problems that would prevent a Catholic from receiving them, the chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees overseeing pro-life and doctrinal matters wrote in a memorandum to all U.S. bishops dated Nov. 23. Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv. shared the memorandum with all parishes, schools and other entities of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington on Dec. 10.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much fear and suffering in our communities, with our families and neighbors experiencing death, disease, isolation and despair. One of the few signs of hope recently has been the relative speed with which scientists have developed vaccines that appear to be effective in stopping the spread of this deadly virus. I am grateful that USCCB has made clear that the development of these vaccines poses no moral problem that would keep a Catholic from getting the vaccine, and I encourage all people to get inoculated against COVID-19 as soon as these vaccines become widely available,” said Bishop Stowe.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, affirmed the moral permissibility of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production,” Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Rhoades wrote in their memorandum (attached). The bishops cited Vatican documentation outlining Catholic moral teaching on such matters.

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