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The Catholic archdiocese is speaking out against the Johnson and Johnson vaccine approved this month by the FDA.

The newest vaccine is produced using cells derived from a line of aborted fetal cells. Neither the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine uses those same cells. The Archdiocese of New Orleans released a statement aimed at Catholics regarding moral standards of the shot.

“The archdiocese must instruct Catholics that the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing,” the statement reads.

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The Archdiocese of New Orleans isn’t the only one speaking out. St. Louis also made a statement that spoke differently than New Orleans in some ways saying that Catholics can get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine if “in good conscience if no other alternative is available.”

The Archdiocese in Springfield, Illinois agreed with St. Louis, that it depends on the individual conscious and if they have the option to choose their vaccination. They note that getting a vaccine, no matter which one, can benefit the public. 

“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good,” the statement says.


Many vaccines use cells and differing types of replicating stem cells, but the Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses PerC6 cells, which makes it controversial. PerC6 cells come from aborted fetal cells from the 1980’s. 

“These are retinal cells that came from a fetus that was aborted in 1985 in the Netherlands, which were treated in the lab to allow them to reproduce in lab settings since that time,” Brianne Barker, PhD, associate professor of biology at Drew University in New Jersey said to Health

These cells were replicated millions of times and have created cell lines that were used in vaccines for hepatitis A, rubella, chickenpox, and shingles

Written ByAshley Grams

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