In response to an inquiry for Debra Vinnedge of Children of God for Life from 2003, the Vatican established a panel to examine the issue of vaccines derived from aborted babies, since US Catholics who try to conscientiously object have been left in the wind by a void of Church statements.
Well, after the usual explanations of direct, indirect, formal and material cooperation in evil, the statement condemns the inherent guilt of governments and researchers who have created these vaccines to begin with, and the guilt of those who continue to distribute them.
But the bottom line is that the use of such vaccines by individuals constitutes, “at least a remote passive material cooperation,” and that it is morally illicit to use such vaccines, unless a serious and immediate health risk is at stake. For example, Rubella is only serious if a pregnant woman who was not exposed in childhood gets it. So an adult woman considering pregnancy, who has never had rubella as a child, could licitly use the vaccine, but doing it for purely preventative, “what if” conditions, does not apply.
If there are morally acceptible alternatives, we must use the alternatives.
The statement also states a moral duty to protest against the use and production of these vaccines by voicing our concerns to our governments and the pharmaceutical companies.
Obviouslly, if someone is unaware of the problem, there is no guilt. And there is no guilt of someone is constrained by law to use the vaccines–however, in a case of constraint, the guilt of the government is all the greater.
This statement is amazing! It’s even stronger than I would have hoped!