Fr. Anthony Zimmerman Responds

Using vaccines from aborted babies makes Mephistophilus laugh again

Anthony Zimmerman STD

Retired Professor of Moral Theology

Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan

The crackling laughter of the wicked Mephistophilus assaulted my ears with horror as I watched the famous Shakespeare Drama. Yet, for many thoughtful and sensitive Catholic parents, pumping the DNA from aborted babies into their children invites Mephistophilus to laugh again. And so I say to all, support parents who protest against the tainted vaccines. And let Catholic school authorities place a well-aimed pro-life kick on the you-know-where of the devil. He should not laugh again – at least not in Catholic schools.

Rightly does a recent document issued by the Vatican state that public bodies need to circle the wagons to protect us from indiscriminate use of contaminated vaccines: “The cooperation is therefore more intense on the part of authorities and national health systems that accept the use of the vaccines” (Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived From Aborted Human Foetuses, Medicina e Morales, Centro di Bioetica della Universita Cattolica, June 9, 2005) (English translation at: )


Rubella has recently been declared eliminated in the USA. The US Center for Disease Control states the following: “Rubella, a virus that once caused tens of thousands of birth defects and deaths in a single outbreak, has been eliminated from the United States, health officials said on Monday. “But Americans still must vaccinate their children, and women who might get pregnant must still ensure they are immune because the disease exists elsewhere, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.” (Washington Post, Monday, March 21, 2005; Page A07, David Brown, Rubella Virus Eliminated in the US)

Despite the caution, there is not now, nor has there ever been, a compelling reason to forbid exemptions.


It is noteworthy that the disease has been eliminated despite all the exemptions for religious reasons, with 48 of 50 states providing such relief. Interestingly, according to the Centers for Disease Control surveys, such exemption statutes have been in place for decades without posing any major risk to public health, and states allowing these exemptions do not have higher rates of vaccine preventable illnesses” (Summary of Notifiable Diseases, US, 1997, November 20, 1998, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The elimination of Rubella is proof that allowing exemptions is sound public policy. If epidemics occur, they are usually local and are contained by local measures, such as quarantine.


“In most states, both the tainted chickenpox and MMR vaccines are required for admission to school. In filing for religious exemption, as thousands of Catholics have already done, in many cases the officials have outwardly stated that Catholics are not entitled to an exemption: Lutherans, yes; Methodists, yes; Episcopalians, yes; Jews, yes; Muslim, yes; Catholics, no”.
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Why do Catholic schools discriminate so severely against their fellow-religionists? School principals, when faced with a request for exemption, are wont to request guidance from others who have stated that exemptions are unnecessary since there is no problem in using the vaccines.

As a result, confusion confounds uncertainties. As Mrs. Debra Vinnedge wrote to Bishop Sgreccia in her letter of thanks for the recent document of the Pontifical Academy for Life:

“The current denial of this right has created public scandal and damages the efforts of Catholic health care facilities fighting to protect the right of conscience. Certainly these parents should be lauded – not punished – for their strong pro-life convictions, and yet they have been willing to suffer chastisements and ridicule for their Catholic beliefs, sometimes by the very Church whose teachings they espouse.”


“Scientists could have done exactly what the Japanese did: they swabbed the throat of an infected child. Nor was it necessary to cultivate the rubella virus on fetal cell lines, also evidenced by the Japanese who cultivated their vaccine on rabbit cells. (Takashi Nagashima, Studies on the Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccine, Kitasato Institute, Arch of Exp. Med. Vol. 46, No. 1-2, 51-55, 1973)

Then why are no untainted Rubella vaccines made available in the USA? Their absence indicates an “in your face” response to the sensitivities of many parents and children, and perhaps a contemptus fidei, a smirk of contempt for the faith of conscientious parents. It is made by those who have a monopoly on the marketing of the vaccines and who are securely supported by the government regulation that makes their reception mandatory.


Pharmaceutical companies that create the tainted vaccines are not like innocent “babes in the woods.” that do not know what the commission of abortion is all about. Their delegate stands at the foot of the bed next to the abortionist who murders the child: “From a clinical standpoint, according to Dr. C. Ward Kischer, PhD one of the leading authorities in the nation on human embryology, the abortion must be pre-arranged in order to have researchers available to immediately preserve the tissue…. “In order to sustain 95% of the cells, the live tissue would need to be preserved within 5 minutes of the abortion”, stated Dr. Kischer. “Within an hour the cells would continue to deteriorate, rendering the specimens useless.” (Dr. C. Ward Kischer, Embryologist and Emeritus Professor of Anatomy; Specialist in Human Embryology, University of Arizona College of Medicine (Tucson, Arizona) Vinnedge interview July 2002, ALL Conference)


“Preying on this fear (of infected pregnancies) during the 1964 epidemic, some doctors in Pennsylvania began advising pregnant women who contracted the disease to abort their child. In a controlled study group, the Wistar Institute worked directly with the abortionists to collect and dissect the fetuses. It was from the 27th fetus that researchers finally found the live virus in the kidney of the baby. The first 26 were apparently unaffected, healthy babies: “Explant cultures were made of the dissected organs of a particular fetus aborted because of rubella, the 27th in our series of fetuses aborted.” (American Journal Diseases of Children; Virus Production and Biological Control of Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccines, Vol. 118 Aug 1969; Attenuation Of RA273 Rubella Virus; Studies of Immunization With Living Rubella Virus; Arch J Dis Child vol 110 Oct 1965)

Did they not give up after killing twenty-seven babies? We hang our heads in shame. Pharmaceutical companies have become murderers. May the Lord comfort the victims. Can the practice be stopped? The victims cry to us for help. We recall the words of the Book of Revelation:

“When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out in a loud voice, “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been” (6:7-11).


More babies are in line to be slaughtered to refresh the tainted vaccines. “When new vaccine batches are needed, the virus is cultivated on the existing fetal cell lines, which in turn have been sub-cultured numerous times over the years. We have already discussed the absolute finite lifespan of these cell lines and we know the end of that timeline is rapidly approaching. According to the “Hayflick Limit”, the population can only double a limited number of times (around 50) before the cells senesce and are unable to grow any more. (Hayflick, Mortality and Immortality at the Cellular Level: A review, University of California, San Francisco, August, 1997)


“We understand that for those who consider abortion acceptable, there is no issue. However, you must understand that we feel about the issue of using tissue from aborted babies as the Jews would feel about using a vaccine derived from concentration camp victims.” (Sterling Heights, MI (See more samples: Parents and Physicians speak out,


Laws that are doubtful do not bind in conscience according to traditional moral principles. Only laws based on certainties have binding power. Laws that require these vaccinations for attendance at schools are doubtful laws that do not strictly bind parents to cooperate. Only if a local epidemic were to break out would strict obligations bind parents to do what is needed, and the obligation would remain confined to the local population. Moral principles define that only obligations that are certain can bind in conscience. When obligations remain doubtful, people are free to make their own decisions. Because the advantages from taking the vaccines foreseen for individuals, and for the general public, are not compelling, and because considerable disadvantages exist as well, moral principles allow parents to refuse. Let us preserve and widen this precious area of our freedom.


The A B C’s of moral theology rightly concede that remote material cooperation can be licit. We live in a world in which such cooperation is frequently a practical necessity. We pay our taxes, for example, though we are aware that the government supports contraception and pays Planned Parenthood to do abortions. The NCBC therefore states correctly, as we expect from seasoned and outstanding bioethicists, that parents may legitimately use the tainted vaccines: “It is the judgment of The National Catholic Bioethics Center that parents and physicians may have children immunized with vaccines grown in cell lines MRC 5 and WI 38 without doing anything immoral.” The article adds that it is urgent that companies supply vaccines that are not associated with abortions. It is therefore in harmony, basically, with the new statement of the Pontifical Academy for Life.


The moral principle that permits individual parents to cooperate licitly does not necessarily allow the Church leadership to cooperate without moral guilt. When a principal of a Catholic school cooperates, he or she contributes publicly to the formation of public opinion, to the monetary coffers of evil-doers, and to the perpetuation of the culture of death. All the more does this wider moral principle apply to the Catholic hierarchy. The principle articulated by the NCBC, if taken out of context, would be narrow, deceptively incomplete, misleading, and catastrophic.

To Catholic school principals, and to the Catholic Bishops, the admonition of Ezekiel applies: “They have misled my people, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace; … when the people build a wall, these prophets smear whitewash on it. Say to those who smear whitewash on it that it shall fall” (Ezek 13:10-11).

Rightly does the Pontifical Academy for Life state that “The cooperation is therefore more intense on the part of authorities and national health systems that accept the use of the vaccines.”


Unless an epidemic is in progress, conscientious refusal to receive vaccinations with tainted vaccine is to be supported and openly praised.

The indicated policy would not hinder disproportionately, or perhaps not hinder at all, the pursuit of stamping out the designated diseases. It is designed to agree with State laws that allow religious exemptions. In case an epidemic arises, steps are taken to quarantine, or prevent attendance at school, of unvaccinated children. In my considered judgment, therefore, the formula suggested above would meet exactly the instructions of the Academia Document that read:

“Therefore doctors and fathers of families have a duty to take recourse to alternative vaccines (if they exist), putting pressure on political authorities and health systems so that other vaccines without moral problems become available…

“As regards to the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to health. However, if the latter are exposed to considerable dangers to their health, vaccines with moral problems pertaining to them may be used on a temporary basis.”

The sentence is to be interpreted to signify that no obligations exist generally, and might arise only in localities if an epidemic breaks. Rubella has in fact been stamped out in the USA in which 48 of the 50 States were allowing exemptions. Let freedom ring!

Rev. Anthony Zimmerman, STD

Retired professor of Moral Theology

Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan.

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