In response to our plea for help, in June 2005 the Pontifical Academy for Life under the approval of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent us their response in the document Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Cells Derived From Aborted Human Foetuses.
Children of God for Life is both deeply appreciative and humbly blessed to have received their statement which exhorts the faithful and all citizens of upright conscience “to oppose, even by making an objection of conscience, the ever more widespread attacks against life and the “culture of death” which underlies them.” We are excited and encouraged to have our Holy Catholic Church standing firmly behind us in our mission to obtain ethical alternatives and to bring about effective changes to end this injustice, for our children, our society and indeed, the very future of biomedical technology and ensuing medical treatments.
In October 2000, Children of God for Life launched the Campaign for Ethical Vaccines and published our Mission Statement which to date has remained unchanged. We encourage you to read this statement which has been published world-wide in our Campaign efforts to assist not only American citizens, but those in over 30 foreign countries who have sought our help in obtaining ethical alternatives.
We believe that all people, no matter what their economic status may be, are entitled to receive medical treatments that do not violate their conscience or their moral and religious beliefs. We believe no one should be forced to act against their conscience out of fear that their loved ones may suffer. We believe that morally acceptable research should be pursued so that all people may utilize advanced medical treatments, not just those who see nothing wrong with destroying one life for the benefit of another. We believe the public is entitled to know the truth and make informed choices. We believe all these things, but our beliefs go beyond mere words as we have worked tirelessly toward these goals. We have met with foreign manufacturers, we have filed with the FDA, we have gone before Congress, we have published hundreds of thousands of our free brochures to help parents and physicians select ethical alternatives. We have established a growing network of pro-life physicians and even purchased stock in the pharmaceutical industry to evoke shareholder resolutions. We were able to secure an ethical alternative for smallpox in the event of a bioterrorist attack and are working with companies who understand the need to develop morally acceptable products for the future. The groundwork is laid, the foundation is built. We have received our long-awaited Church blessing and are poised to face the ultimate victory: moral choices for all vaccines, but more importantly, a rude awakening to researchers and the pharmaceutical industry that we will not tolerate their immoral activity.
Vatican Intervention – How it Came About
In April 2001, a young Arkansas mother, Shannon Law, faced a momentous decision: vaccinate her children for chickenpox or face expulsion from the local public school. Because the chickenpox vaccine is produced using aborted fetal cell lines, as a staunch pro-lifer and devout Catholic, the thought of injecting the DNA from murdered babies into her children’s bodies was appalling. Mrs. Law immediately appealed to her pastor for help in obtaining a religious exemption. However, the priest was unsure what sort of help he could provide. The Church teaching on abortion, fetal and stem cell research was clear – but the actual use of by-products of abortion was not. He referred her to Diocesan officials, who in turn were at a loss as to what could be done to help.
As the deadline for getting the vaccinations approached, Shannon knew she could wait no longer. She picked up the phone and called the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican and spoke to Msgr. Charles Brown who assured her he would look into the matter at once. As she awaited a response that would surely take more time than the school would allow, she then contacted American Life League and Children of God for Life. Within hours, Children of God for Life contacted Msgr. Brown, who upon learning the problem was not confined to only Mrs. Law, requested a package of information to be sent to His Eminence Josef Cardinal Ratzinger. Meanwhile Msgr. Brown’s instruction was clear: all Catholics should be instructed to use the Church teaching on Moral Conscience while the Vatican reviewed the issue. Further, he warned that, “To turn away from one’s conscience would be a grave error.”
The information on public abuse of Catholic parents, the history of the abortions and related production of the vaccines and the US fight to obtain ethical alternatives was sent at once. Many of the Church teachings on Moral Conscience were also immediately posted on our website in order to help other parents facing the same problem. And just how bad was the problem? Catholics were being unfairly discriminated against in public schools while students of other faiths were openly allowed the State religious exemptions. Catholics were being admitted to other Christian private schools with their religious exemption, when in some cases, they were being denied the same right at Catholic schools by lay administrators. While the vast majority of the latter situations were resolved when appeals were made to their bishop, massive confusion on this issue remained. Indeed, even the pharmaceutical companies denied their was any moral problem in the way the vaccines were produced or a need for ethical alternatives, citing Catholic ethicists statements to defend their position. Thus an authoritative statement from the Vatican was desperately needed.
As deliberations on the matter began in Rome, in June 2003, the Pontifical Academy for Life requested further information from Children of God for Life and another detailed package was sent. The response would come two years later in June 2005. (see below) While it took some time for the response to arrive, we believe it was well worth waiting for. Meanwhile, Shannon Law had achieved a victory for herself and indeed, all parents of all faiths in Arkansas and across America, in a heroic legal battle that lasted over a year, under the defense of Liberty Counsel attorneys. Click here to read Shannon’s story. For it was her plight that initiated the Vatican contact. And it would eventually set the stage for upholding Catholic parental rights world-wide as the newly released document condemned the production of aborted fetal vaccines, upheld parental rights in abstaining from them under proper health conditions and instructed all citizens to not only use existing ethical alternatives, but to fight with all legal means to obtain moral vaccines in the future for those with no alternatives. See our Chart of Vaccines for an up-to-date listing.
We invite you to peruse the following articles and our website in its entirety – then do just as our Church has instructed and join our Campaign efforts to put an end to this injustice.
See all articles on the Vatican & Vaccines from Abortion