‘Moral objection’: Poland’s Catholics warned against AstraZeneca and J&J Covid-19 jabs over use of cells linked to aborted fetuses

Catholics should avoid use of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca coronavirus jabs as they utilize abortion-derived cells during the manufacturing process, the chairman of Poland’s Catholic Church bioethics expert team has said.

An advisory for the Catholic faithful, penned by the chairman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference (KEP) expert team on bioethics Bishop Jozef Wrobel, was published on Wednesday.

The top KEP member promoted the vaccines using mRNA-based technology – namely shots by Moderna and Pfizer – while warning against use of the jabs by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. These coronavirus jabs are raising “serious moral objection” over their links to abortions, the bishop explained.

“It is already known that AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are unfortunately based on technology based on cells derived from aborted fetuses (they are used in the process of multiplying the so-called active ingredient of the vaccine, i.e. adenovirus free of virulence),” the advisory reads.

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Said vaccines, by no means, contain any abortion-linked cells as an ingredient, but rather utilize so-called ‘cell lines’ in the manufacturing process. In fact, these cell lines trace back to fetal tissue samples harvested around 50 years ago, that since have been cultivated in laboratories, thus the cell material is not directly linked to abortions either.

The Catholic faithful can take the aforementioned vaccines if no other options are available, or they are legally obliged to do so, Wrobel explained. If a faithful takes an offending jab under such circumstances, he would not be considered in breach of religious morals.

The opinion of Poland’s Church closely resembles one voiced by US bishops last month. The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans blasted Johnson & Johnson for “its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines,” advising the faithful to use either Pfizer or Moderna instead.

The latter two jabs are “morally acceptable” as they have an “extremely remote” connection to abortion, the Archdiocese explained, as they only used abortion-derived cell lines during testing but not in manufacturing.

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FILE PHOTO: A Catholic priest performs a ceremony in Nidek, Poland. April 2020. © Reuters / Agencja Gazeta / Jakub Porzycki
Approval of Catholic Church in Poland dips to nearly 30yr low amid pedophilia scandal & protests over new abortion restrictions

Poland’s influential Catholic Church has persistently opposed abortions, while the country has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The already short list of reasons why an abortion may be performed got even shorter last October, when the country’s highest court ruled that abortion in the case of severe fetal defects was unconstitutional.

The ruling effectively near-totally outlawed the procedure, sparking mass protests across the country.

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