The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans is asking Catholics to keep away from the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which it says is “morally compromised” by its “in depth use of abortion-derived cell strains.” In a press release on Friday, the archdiocese famous that whereas deciding whether or not to obtain the vaccine is a person selection, that “the newest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised because it makes use of the abortion-derived cell line in improvement and manufacturing of the vaccine in addition to the testing.” Whereas various COVID-19 vaccine producers have used cells initially derived from an aborted fetus within the 1970s, the archdiocese argues that Johnson & Johnson “in depth use” is worse than that of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which used the cells strains solely to check their vaccines, in line with Faith Information Service. This makes the “connection to abortion … extraordinarily distant,” within the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the assertion argues, recommending that Catholics select a type of as an alternative, if supplied a selection. Whereas the archdiocese claims the choice is consistent with steering from the Vatican, the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops and the Nationwide Catholic Bioethics Middle, not one of the three have issued statements denouncing the brand new vaccine. In December, the Vatican issued common tips relating to vaccines by which the Holy See stated it was “morally acceptable” for Catholics to obtain photographs that used the HEK293 cells for analysis. Whereas the HEK293 cells are reportedly originated from an aborted fetus from the 1970s, ethicists have stated that the cells and related cell strains are clones and never the unique fetal tissue. The Vatican has made the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine obtainable for all Vatican Metropolis residents. Pope Francis reportedly acquired the shot in January. The Archdiocese of New Orleans’ assertion comes after leaders of the USCCB and leaders from different non secular organizations despatched a letter to the commissioner of the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration final spring relating to moral considerations over the COVID-19 vaccines. “We’re conscious that, among the many dozens of vaccines presently in improvement, some are being produced utilizing outdated cell strains that had been created from the cells of aborted infants,” the letter learn. “For instance, Janssen Prescribed drugs, Inc. has a considerable contract from the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) and is engaged on a vaccine that’s being produced utilizing considered one of these ethically problematic cell strains.” Nevertheless, a USCCB memo written by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas Metropolis, who chairs the group’s Committee on Professional-Life Actions, argued that the vaccines are ethical.