Sunday, March 14, 2021
Florida Catholic staff - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | Hoping to dispel confusion among South Florida Catholics, Archbishop Thomas Wenski has written to his fellow priests reiterating that there is no moral objection to receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the U.S.
The letter, sent March 10, 2021, gives straightforward answers to two questions, relying on the statement issued in December 2020 by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which stated that “all vaccinations ... can be used in good conscience...”
“So to the question, can the parish be used as a site for all the currently available vaccinations, the answer is YES,” the archbishop wrote. “To the question, should I advise my parishioners to receive any of the three vaccinations available, the answer is also a definite YES.”
The archbishop notes that “there has been some confusion” over the issue of vaccinations for COVID, especially since the introduction of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson version.
“You might remember how in our seminary days, moral theology discussions on formal, proximate and remote cooperation with evil, etc. could be quite daunting,” the archbishop wrote.
“It’s easy to get ‘lost in the weeds’,” he noted, pointing to some guidance coming from the U.S. bishops and diocesan chanceries “that often do not successfully help lead people out of the weeds.”
He told archdiocesan priests to view the podcast with Father Alfred Cioffi, a moral theologian and bioethics professor at St. Thomas University, which is posted on the archdiocesan website and YouTube channel.
It offers “a helpful and erudite discussion,” the archbishop wrote. “But the simplest statement on the matter” came Dec. 21, 2020 from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “Notes on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines.”
The archbishop quotes the pertinent section: “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 citation from Vatican News continues: “The note addresses doubts and questions about the moral aspects of COVID-19 vaccines, including the responsibility of biomedical researchers and drug agencies, the morality of vaccination, vaccine access, and makes clear that these vaccines are not a legitimation of abortion.”