Vaccines against COVID 19 are becoming available to more people in our communities. It is critically important that our faithful and others in our parish communities have an accurate understanding of how these vaccines may be viewed from the perspective of Catholic moral teaching and tradition. The Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has determined that it is “morally acceptable” for Catholics to take these vaccines against the COVID 19 Virus. This judgment is deeply rooted in the Catholic moral tradition.
On December 21, 2020, the CDF stated:
“All vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive” … “the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one’s own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good.”
“In the absence of other means to stop or even prevent the epidemic, the common good may recommend vaccination, especially to protect the weakest and most exposed.”
Thus, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles strongly encourages Catholics to receive a safe and effective COVID 19 vaccine for the sake of ourselves, our loved ones, and the common good.
If some of the faithful choose not to take the vaccine for reasons of conscience, the Vatican says those persons “must do their utmost to avoid … becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”
It is important for all of us share this message and encourage everyone to receive the COVID 19 vaccine when able, so as to ensure the health and safety of our parish communities. We must also help those who chose not to take the vaccine to take the proper precautions to limit transmission.
Attached please find a statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that can assist you in your efforts to communicate these messages to the faithful in your parishes. The documents, along with additional resources, can be found at the following links on the USCCB website:
USCCB – U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Pro-Life and Doctrine
USCCB – Moral Considerations Regarding the New COVID 19 Vaccines
USCCB – Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID 19 Vaccines
USCCB – Moral Guidance on Vaccine
May Jesus, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, continue to bless our communities with good health, peace, and joy.