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Irish bishops call for ethical vaccines without link to abortion

Irish Bishops are calling for Covid-19 vaccines which are not linked to abortion. The Irish Bishops’ Council for Healthcare has asked the Department of Health North and South of the border to “actively promote” the development, sourcing, and supply of vaccines which do not have a historical link with abortion.

The Council for Healthcare has urged Catholics to also advocate for the availability of ethically developed vaccines.

However, while pushing for the development of more ethical jabs, the Bishops also urged people to continue taking the current vaccines, writing:

The Council for Healthcare of the Bishops’ Conference welcomes the fact that, since the summer, the vast majority of the population of this island have received their vaccinations and that booster vaccines are now being administered.  The Council urges everyone to continue to support the vaccination programmes currently in place in both jurisdictions on the island. 

The problem for the consciences of many people when it comes to receiving Covid-19 vaccines is that the development of some of these vaccines involves the use of cells derived from aborted babies (known as “foetal cell lines”).

While foetal cell lines have not been used in the design or production of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines currently available in Ireland, they have been used in some confirmation testing, according to the Lozier Institute.

The Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sputnik V vaccines use cell lines from aborted babies in the design, development, production and confirmation testing of the vaccine. Two vaccines coming to market – Covaxin and CvnCoV – are not tainted by any association to cell lines taken from aborted babies.

The involvement of cell lines derived from aborted babies in the production or testing of vaccines has long been a matter of concern, and pro-life groups and activists have urged both pharmaceutical companies and government to desist from unethical practices in this regard.

As previously reported by Gript, a Pfizer whistleblower, fully vaccinated employee Mellissa Strickler, has made claims that Pfizer suppresses information regarding the testing of the vaccine using foetal cell lines. Strickler said this was done not only to protect the company’s public image, but also because the pharmaceutical company wants to prevent people from rejecting the vaccine for ethical or religious reasons.

In an email leaked by Strickler, a Pfizer senior director told staff: “From the perspective of corporate affairs, we want to avoid having the information on the fetal cell lines floating out there. We believe that the risk of communicating this right now outweighs any potential benefit we could see, particularly with general members of the public who may take this information and use it in ways we may not want out there.”

In its statement advocating for ethically sourced Covid-19 vaccines, the Irish Bishops’ Council stated that the issue was about “respect for life and for human dignity”.

“In that way they bear witness that biomedical research should always be conducted in a manner which is consistent with respect for life and for human dignity,” the Council said in its statement.

The statement falls in-line with the Vatican’s official guidance on the morality Covid-19 vaccines, published last December. The Vatican’s statement acknowledged that Covid-19 vaccines “employed cell lines drawn from tissue obtained from two abortions that occurred in the last century”.

“We do not intend to judge the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, although ethically relevant and necessary, as this evaluation is the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies. Here, our objective is only to consider the moral aspects of the use of the vaccines against Covid-19 that have been developed from cell lines derived from tissues obtained from two fetuses that were not spontaneously aborted,” the document read.

The Vatican’s guidance stated that “When ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available…it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”

It also said that “the illicit use of such vaccines does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses”.

The Vatican statement also encouraged both pharmaceutical companies and governmental health agencies to “produce, approve, distribute and offer ethically acceptable vaccines that do not create problems of the conscience for either health care providers or the people to be vaccinated”.

It comes as the U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected two separate religious challenges to New York’s vaccine mandate. Last Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenges brought by a group of Christian doctors and nurses, and from a separate organisation. One of the lawsuits brought by a group of 17 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, the majority of whom are Catholic, denounced “medical dictatorship.” Sixteen of those involved said they were fired or suspended under the policy, while one nurse agreed to be vaccinated in order to keep her job.

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