Vatican on Vaccines
Holy Little Saint
We will never forget
1) To petition the vaccine manufacturers to produce safe, effective alternatives for Rubella/MMR, Hepatitis-A and Chickenpox that are not derived from or cultivated on aborted fetal tissue. Further, in the event there is a lack of cooperation on the pharmaceutical companies’ part, Children of God for Life will seek to import alternatives from overseas through a formal IND application to the FDA (currently in progress)
2) To discourage the further production of vaccines or medical treatments that are derived from deliberately destroyed human life, including fetal tissue and Embryonic Stem Cell Research
3) To encourage the use of alternatives where they are available and to educate the public as to how their family physicians may obtain these alternatives
4) To uphold the individual rights of any person, who in good moral conscience refuses to use these vaccines due to their source.
Right of Acceptance or Refusal
Many articles have been written regarding the morally acceptable use of these vaccines in the absence of alternatives. The argument most generally used is that of “remote material cooperation” whereby the original act of abortion, which is gravely immoral, is so far removed or distant from the end user of the vaccines, that there is no complicity in the evil of the original act on the part of the parents vaccinating their children. While this statement may satisfy the minds of many parents who have used the vaccines, there are many people – parents and physicians alike – who have a deep aversion to abortion and cannot accept such statements as being truly pro-life. We believe these people are entitled to act according to their conscience.
Although Children of God for Life has not advocated a boycott of these vaccines, the fact remains that many parents have refused to use them and many physicians have refused to dispense them. We recognize that every person is entitled to protect the health and safety of their families without compromising their moral conscience or religious beliefs. In that most State Health Departments require these vaccinations for entrance to both public and Catholic or Christian private schools, colleges and universities and various types of employment, many people have filed for religious exemptions, based on the teachings of their respective faiths in matters of abortion and fetal tissue research.
However in many cases, parents are being denied their rights by State officials who cite the recent articles as evidence of Catholic teaching. We in turn cite the true Church Teachings under the direct advice of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Considerations – Prior Knowledge and Intent
Abortion is unnecessary to obtain live viruses as proved by the Japanese in producing Takahashi for rubella. The virus was obtained by swabbing the throat of an infected child.
Aborted fetal tissue is unnecessary as a culture medium, as non-abortive human tissue may be used or animal cell lines, as evidenced in the production of Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rabies and the Japanese Aimmungen for Hepatitis-A and Takahashi for Rubella.
The abortions were done with the intention of creating medical products. This is evidenced by the very fact that not only were women encouraged to abort their children during the 1964 Rubella epidemic, there was a also a control study group used in obtaining the Rubella virus. Fetal tissue cannot be successfully utilized without immediate preservation of the fetus. We know that in the production of the Rubella vaccine, Wistar Institute collaborated with the abortionists and collected the aborted fetal tissue from 27 fetuses before finding the live rubella vaccine. To further denigrate their concern for human life, after producing the vaccine, Wistar Institute conducted their clinical trials on orphans in Philadelphia, Pa. to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Today, Wistar Institute is also heavily involved with Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
The parent gave full consent for the use of their aborted child for research purposes. It is illegal in the United States to use aborted, miscarried or still born children for research without previous written consent of the donor. (4. US Code Title 42, Sect. 289 g.1 (b) Informed Consent of Donor)
The Church has emphatically and unequivocally stated Her position on the evil of abortion. The Church further teaches the use of Moral Conscience (Cat 1776-1789) to turn away from that which is evil: “In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right.”
When we try to remove the burden of guilt from the minds of our fellow Catholics, we are in effect watering down the truth. While the Church should not have to dictate that these vaccines cannot be used under any circumstance due to their immoral source, nor do we expect Her to, it is equally unjust for some to advise the use of the vaccines to be morally acceptable. The use of “remote material cooperation” as an argument is problematic in that the very word “cooperation” intimates association, regardless of how “remote” it might be, and violates the inner conscience. The faithful pro-life Catholic:
In short, faithful pro-life Catholics will not even “remotely” support any organization or position that is connected with the abortion industry. They do so because their conscience directs them. Using products derived from abortion is in direct contradiction with the above pro-life practices.
Another argument used by some ethicists is the comparison of the use of aborted fetal tissue to other atrocities against humanity, such as using the donated organs of a murdered child. This too is flawed for several obvious reasons:
Some ethicists have further stated that for the good of public health, Catholics are obliged to used the vaccines, regardless of their personal convictions. This is also wrong for two reasons:
Most if not all of these tainted vaccines are required for admission to public and Catholic school. In filing for religious exemption, as thousands of Catholics have already done, many have been refused and told their Catholic Church says the vaccines are permissible, citing the article as proof. With no formal statement from the Church, parents are left to defend their actions with no guidance from their pastors or bishops.
How serious could it be? Consider the cases of the following children who refused to use these vaccinations:
The article was also used by Merck & Company to defend their use of aborted fetal tissue. In response to our petition in which we requested they produce alternatives for the Rubella, Hepatitis-A and Chickenpox vaccinations, they included a copy of the article with their letter, along with a second article by John Grabenstein, condoning the use of the vaccines. Merck further presumed we thought it was morally acceptable for those 27 women to have abortions in the RA/27/3 study, since they were infected with the virus and might have passed on some form of Congenital Rubella Syndrome to their unborn child. Children of God for Life quickly asserted that aborting children simply because they might be born less than perfect is not principled reasoning.
In response to these assaults on the teaching of the Catholic Church, Children of God for Life compiled established Doctrine from several sources into one authoritative document to assist Catholics in this area.
The pharmaceutical industry recognizes the enormity of the Catholic market not only in the United States, but worldwide. Yet without any statement of support, the efforts of Children of God for Life have been severely hampered from effectively applying the necessary pressure to obtain alternatives, when the current products are perceived to be morally acceptable and permissible by the Catholic Church.
Fetal Tissue and Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) Research
April 26, 2000 Senate Subcommittee Hearings
April 30, 2000 Hearings on University of Nebraska’s research on aborted fetuses
February 2001 Tampa Tribune Article favoring ESC Research
August 2001 President Bush Justifies ESC Research with Chickenpox Vaccine
Some ethicists have commented that “past Catholic statements on individuals’ use of vaccines developed from fetal tissue are not relevant to this issue”. We disagree because the fact that one is destroyed in advance with the intention of research, while the other one is destroyed and then used for research after the fact, is really inconsequential.