Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Vaccination Issue

March 27th, 2019, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Moved here from Ticker Posts — March 2019

Catholic News Service reported this week that the Pontifical Academy for Life determined that Catholic parents should vaccinate their children and that doing so is not a “cooperation in voluntary abortion.” (They did not make clear whether or not an opinion of the Pontifical Academy for Life meets the requirements for a binding teaching authority of the Church.)

The issue is that the vaccines used against the most common childhood illnesses originate from the cell lines of “aborted fetuses” in the 1960’s. While there are parents who do not want to vaccinate their children due to their belief that other serious medical conditions such as autism can be caused by an adverse reaction to the vaccines, there are also parents who make the same decision not to vaccinate, but based on believing they have an obligation not to use products which result in any form from abortion.  The popular media mention of ‘religious objections’ are sometimes, in reality, moral objections, not particularly based on religious teaching, but on their own perception of immorality. Some parents have stated they believe that to use any products from an aborted cell line is “immoral, illegal and sinful.” And not all those who object are Catholic.

The Academy for Life argues that parents may, and even may have an obligation to, vaccinate their children even though the only vaccine available is from abortion by-product and, reportedly (they say!), can do so without violating Catholic Teaching. (Note: It has also been reported that a ‘moral’ product is  available in Japan.) It is a difficult situation for parents since many don’t have the capacity for home-schooling, and so are obligated to send their children to a school with other children. The unvaccinated child soon may not be permitted to attend a public school at all. In some cases, a written declaration of conscientious objection still may be sufficient (at least for a while), but it may not be long until deliberate government intervention occurs, vaccinating children against their parents’ will.

The Pontifical Academy for Life is reported to have said that “the cell lines currently in use are very distant from the original abortions and no longer imply that bond of moral cooperation indispensable for an ethically negative evaluation of their use.” Elapsed time” is an interesting proposed modifier of culpability. There is some basis for distancing of moral culpability based on the contribution to the sin (examples: a waiter may serve a hamburger on Fridays in Lent to someone he knows is Catholic, and a bus driver need not refuse to open the door for a woman who wants to disembark at an abortuary.) But culpability reduced due to elapsed time seems questionable; e.g. if one suddenly remembers a mortal sin unconfessed from 30 years ago, the lapse in time does not mitigate the need to confess. Does stolen property become ‘less stolen’ if it is handed down in a family?

For those with strong aversion to using a product which originated from aborted cell lines, their concern of conscience is not necessarily reduced by a declaration of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Such moral dilemmas used to be called “More Catholic than the Pope!” And so perhaps it is.

There is one possible way to solve this situation, but it is not without risk and inconvenience, and would need some safety protections for its use. The parents who reject in conscience using the vaccines from aborted cell lines, but are willing to risk their own child’s contracting an illness like measles by not being vaccinated could, theoretically, actually let the child ‘get the measles’ under medical supervision. Then, after recovery, that the child could attend school without being any risk to the other students since he or she would have immunity (instead of through a vaccine). It does focus the risk, and the conscience argument. And it is not that far away in practice from the custom in the 1950’s and earlier of gathering all the children in a family together (and sometimes the neighbor kids too) with the sick child, to have them all exposed at the same time and “get it over with.” Yes there are risks and discomfort. But living with a violated conscience isn’t comfortable either. Either way, it’s not a pretty sight.

See also:


Rockland County ban keeping unvaccinated from Church is overturned:


2 Responses to “The Vaccination Issue”

  1. militia says:

    I should have also mentioned that when our leaders do bad things, there seems to be more suffering…. measles vaccine made from abortion materials …. Cuomo’s celebration of infanticide at the Freedom Tower in NYC… NYC bad measles epidemic. It figures. Cuomo is bad vibe for NY

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