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UNITED KINGDOM, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) has stated that Catholics have a “prima facie duty to be vaccinated.” 

Moreover, after noting a 2005 Vatican statement focused on the moral question of vaccines which have been prepared from cells derived from aborted baby humans, the U.K bishops state their support for the idea that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience.”

“The Catholic Church strongly supports vaccination and regards Catholics as having a prima facie duty to be vaccinated, not only for the sake of their own health but also out of solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable,” the letter released Thursday, July 30 states.

“We believe that there is a moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others. This is especially important for the discovery of a vaccine against COVID-19,” the bishops continue.

The statement is co-signed by Bishops Paul Mason and Bishop John Sherrington, who are referred to on the CBCEW website as “Lead Bishop for Healthcare” and “Lead Bishop for Life Issues” respectively.

While the letter notes that “[t]he Church is opposed to the production of vaccines using tissue derived from aborted foetuses,” it also states that “the Church teaches that the paramount importance of the health of a child and other vulnerable persons could permit parents to use a vaccine which was in the past developed using these diploid cell lines.”

The bishops then briefly mention the 2005 Pontifical Academy for Life document “Moral reflections on vaccines prepared from cells derived from aborted human foetuses,” before quoting a separate 2017 Pontifical Academy for Life statement, which asserts that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience and that the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation with voluntary abortion.” 

The bishops later quote the aforementioned 2005 Pontifical Academy for Life document, highlighting a section which says that the burden of combating unethical practices by pharmaceutical companies “must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population – especially with regard to pregnant women.”

The CBCEW statement continues to emphasize the role of vaccinations in supposedly “protecting the most vulnerable.”

“If a pregnant woman, for example a teacher in a school, comes into contact with unvaccinated children, unfair and complex moral decisions may be imposed upon her, including whether it would be safe for her to work during her pregnancy,” the letter continues. 

“Exposure to unvaccinated children could incur serious consequences, the gravest of which include a threat to the lives of the mother and her unborn child.” 

The CBCEW document does not explain why a teacher who presumably would have received vaccines and thus immunity would be at risk from an unvaccinated child. The letter also does not account for the fact that parents are expected to keep sick children, whether or not they have received vaccines, home from school. 

While acknowledging the “distress many Catholics experience when faced with a choice of not vaccinating their child or seeming to be complicit in abortion,” the bishops state that “[t]he Church distinguishes between the present unethical sourcing of vaccines and the use of historical cell-lines which were derived from aborted foetuses in the 1970s.” 

Without providing any further details on what such distinctions might be, they then provide a July 2019 quote from the U.K. government's Department of Health and Social Care saying that “new human foetal tissue” will not be used in the creation of rubella, rabies, or hepatitis A vaccines.

The bishops also wrote in their letter: 

Human society has often benefitted [sic] from the wrongs done in the past for which we must repent. We live with the benefits of very questionable medical experimentation. For example, Edward Jenner, who invented vaccination, conducted research by injecting an 8 year old boy with cowpox followed by smallpox. While today such experimentation would be unethical by any standards, we wouldn’t deny life-saving vaccination because of its dubious historic provenance. 

They then wrote, “The Catholic Church prays for and encourages all those who are seeking to find a vaccine against this destructive virus. We hope that ethical sourcing of such a vaccine is possible.”

‘Cognitive dissonance’ 

U.K. Catholic Deacon Nick Donnelly told Church Militant that “one of the cell lines being exploited in the production of the COVID-19 vaccine at Oxford University is from a healthy baby girl murdered through abortion in 1972 in the Netherlands.”

“Her kidney cells were harvested for medical research and given the dehumanizing label HEK-293. She'd probably be a 40-year-old mother with her own family by now,” Donnelly said.

“I don't know how CBCEW can say it's okay for Catholics to use vaccines incorporating cell lines from babies murdered through abortion,” he continued. 

“Instead, the bishops are saying not only is it morally permissible to benefit from her murder through abortion, but that its a moral obligation for the greater good.”

In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy and laity led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats said that “for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.”

This weekend Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, reiterated his opposition to vaccines created using cell lines from aborted babies.

“I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children,” Strickland tweeted. 

“Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts. We will never end abortion if we do not END THIS EVIL!”





The U.K. government recently signed a deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the supply of up to 60 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine. Sanofi and GSK are receiving more than $2 billion in U.S. federal funding for their coronavirus vaccine project. Sanofi has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for other projects. It says of its work on the coronavirus vaccine that they are “a part of a consortium of 15 healthcare companies alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working to identify concrete actions that will accelerate treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics.”

Last month U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to opponents of vaccines as “nuts” and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called on politicians to “stand shoulder to shoulder” against those who “are threatening lives” by opposing vaccines.

Phil Lawler, founder of Catholic World News and news director and lead analyst at, says that “when a Covid vaccine becomes available, this statement by the English bishops will be quoted by zealous lawmakers campaigning to make the vaccine mandatory—and thus to deprive the English people of the freedom to make their own medical decisions for themselves and for their children.”

“In fact the bishops’ statement itself is clearly an argument in favor of mandatory vaccination, and to rally Catholics to that cause,” Lawler continues.

“In a release accompanying the statement the bishops’ conference states that its goal is ‘to encourage Catholics to commit to protecting the most vulnerable in society’ — by vaccination, naturally.”

More than 760,000 people have signed LifeSiteNews’ petition calling on governments around the world not to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory.

The signatories of the May open letter by Catholic clergy and lay leaders insist that individuals must be free to reject coronavirus vaccines without any penalties being imposed on them.

“The fight against Covid-19, however serious, must not be the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests in this plan,” the letter states. 

“In particular, citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool.”

One of the signatories of that letter, environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., recently warned of the need to be cautious about any new coronavirus vaccine, pointing out that key parts of testing are being skipped. 

In an online debate on mandatory vaccinations the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy pointed out that a significant percentage of participants in a recent trial for a leading coronavirus vaccine have been hospitalized.

Kennedy highlighted the potentially worrying results of trials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, which is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. federal funding. The trial had a high-dose group of 15 people, a medium-dose group of 15 people, and a low growth group of 15 people.

“In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s 20 percent.”

Kennedy also mentioned another reason not to trust blindly any company currently producing vaccines in the United States. Each one of the four vaccine producers “is a convicted serial felon: Glaxo, Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck.”

“In the past 10 years, just in the last decade, those companies have paid 35 billion dollars in criminal penalties, damages, fines, for lying to doctors, for defrauding science, for falsifying science, for killing hundreds of thousands of Americans knowingly,” Kennedy stated

“It requires a cognitive dissonance for people who understand the criminal corporate cultures of these four companies to believe that they’re doing this in every other product that they have, but they’re not doing it with vaccines.”