Kathleen asked:

What's the Church's teaching on using vaccinations that could have come from aborted fetuses?

Fr. Tad Pacholczyk replied:

"...in point of fact there are several vaccines that were made this way. They used this cell line that came from an abortion that happened, I think it was in Sweden, more than thirty years ago. That cell line has been used since then to make various vaccines. And people say well you know can I get my kids vaccinated? Is this alright? ... this question was put to the Vatican ... and they issued a response ... if there's not another alternative at hand that's available that was made in another way without using the aborted fetal cell lines, and if the family has made the decision to go ahead and vaccinate, they are able to use these cell lines as long as they register their disapproval to the vaccine manufacturers.

So when we get questions on this at the center we'll say, you know this means probably that you should call the manufacturer, maybe it's Merck or one of the large pharmaceutical companies, indicate your concern over this matter and if you do that you are not actually cooperating in the evil of abortion itself. This is important to clarify because that abortion happened almost thirty years ago for other reasons and what happened was there was a cadaver left over of the child and that cadaver was raided to get the cells without valid informed consent, without proper permission. So you know there's been this problem that has been trickled down through the years, but the document indicated that it is permissible. It is allowable for parents to do this under protest...

This is allowable for that reason and especially given the consideration that these diseases that are being vaccinated for are very serious threats to the health and well-being for the children."

Patrick Coffin asked:

"Father Tad do you think it's generally true that questions of remote and proximate, what's the word, proximity versus you know remoteness the closeness to the moral evil is always a little more complicated then when you first think? Because you can't answer that question with a yes or no right?"

Fr. Tad Pacholczyk replied:

"The proximity question is one that always hinges around a causal connection. So if I'm doing something now am I causally connected to someone else's evil? That's always the way it has to be phrased in order to to get to the essence of it. And you know here by me vaccinating my child I am not causally involved with that abortion that happened many many years earlier. I may be involved in other ways for example in giving some money to the pharmaceutical company and maybe the pharmaceutical company is going to continue to develop vaccines and other problems you know that will be associated with that but it's a remote, as you're saying, connection in that direction."


Catholic Answers, "Bioethics for the rest of us" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2015)

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Show air date: March 18, 2015

Name of show: Bioethics for the rest of us

Guest comments by: Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Question appeared in show: 48:21

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