Holy Mother of God, what foolishness is this?
As reported by Ed Kilgore, writing for New York Magazine:
In a ruling reminiscent of medieval speculation over the number of angels that could dance on the head of a pin, the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans has issued a split decision on the religious acceptability of major COVID-19 vaccines. It has deemed the Pfizer and Moderna versions okay but called the new Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine “morally compromised” because it was derived from cloned stem cells distantly related to tissue from fetuses aborted back in the 1970s.
As Kilgore notes, this reasoned determination is further explained by the Religious News Service.
The archdiocese issued the statement on Friday (Feb. 26), stating that while the decision regarding whether to get a vaccine is an individual choice, “the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.”
Several COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers used cells originally derived from tissue from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, but the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines used the cell lines only to test their vaccines, making the “connection to abortion … extremely remote,” the statement said.
So cloned, aborted cells utilized in the development of the vaccine are okay, because the connection is more “tenuous,” but hey, when we are actually talking about saving peoples’ lives with the final product, then it’s a little too close to Jesus?
Thankfully, at least one religious authority has his priorities all straight and aligned.
At least one Catholic leader, Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, has argued that even the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are “produced immorally” because they used the cells and must be rejected as well.
Just so we’re clear, this archdiocese (notably, Pope Francis, speaking for the Vatican one month before the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was announced, appears to disagree) is saying that it’s better to have no vaccine at all than to have one that was derived, however distantly, from fetal cell tissue—even in its production stage.
This dumbassery actually has real-life consequences, at least to those Catholics in the diocese who pay attention to such dictums.
The decision has the potential to impact vaccine distribution. Several houses of worship — including Catholic churches — currently serve as vaccination centers, as do many faith-affiliated organizations.
They’re not even real “fetus cells.” They’re cloned cells.
The statement is part of a longstanding debate regarding the use of what are referred to as HEK293 cells, which reportedly trace their origins to an aborted fetus from the 1970s. Scholars and ethicists have noted that HEK293 and similar cell lines are clones and are not the original fetal tissue.
When I was younger, I had these wild expectations that by a year such as 2021, we’d be way past this type of nonsense in American society.
Guess I was wrong.