Fresno bishop clarifies stance on use of vaccines developed with fetal tissue

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, which oversees parishes in multiple counties including Kern, released a statement Wednesday clarifying its position regarding the use of COVID-19 vaccines it says were made with tissue taken from aborted fetuses.

Bishop Joseph V. Brennan said Catholics have an obligation to urge healthcare systems to provide ethical vaccine alternatives not made from fetal tissue.

“Nevertheless, due to how relatively far removed end-users are from the original moral evil of abortion, Catholic doctors, patients, and parents may utilize such unethically sourced vaccines for serious and proportional reasons where no ethical alternatives exist, while maintaining consistent moral clarity in opposition to abortion,” Brennan said.

Vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna used “illicit” materials to a small extent in their testing phase, the bishop said. He strongly discouraged using the AstraZeneca vaccine as he said it comes from a “morally questionable cell line.”

An Associated Press article says the AstraZeneca vaccine was made using clones of cells taken from a fetus in 1973, not the original fetal tissue. The article said a number of false claims about the vaccines have circulated online.

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