Despite the controversy in the Catholic Church about whether it’s morally acceptable to get a vaccine that derives from cells that came from an aborted fetus, Pope Francis is declaring the COVID vaccine a “moral obligation.”
It shouldn’t be a courageous pronouncement, but if it puts to rest the debate, at least within the Catholic Church, it’s a big step.
… Francis called on everyone to get the vaccine. A transcript of the pope’s vaccination remarks, which were not immediately confirmed by the Vatican, was provided by Fabio Luca Marchese Ragona, the TG5 Vatican reporter who conducted the interview.
“It’s an ethical choice, because you are playing with health, life, but you are also playing with the lives of others,” Francis told the station. “I’ve signed up. One must do it.”
According to the transcript, the pope added, “I don’t understand why some say, ‘No, vaccines are dangerous.’ If it is presented by doctors as a thing that can go well, that has no special dangers, why not take it? There is a suicidal denial that I wouldn’t know how to explain.”
One thing that separates the Catholic Church from conservative evangelicals is that the former has (for the most part) no issue reconciling science with their faith. There’s a reason Young Earth Creationists aren’t generally Catholics.
Considering the virus has killed 350,000 Americans (and counting), the vaccine has become a “pro-life” issue. There’s no ethical reason to avoid it. It will undoubtedly save lives. Scientists know this. Most Americans know this. But right-wing Christians and other anti-vaxxers are creating doubts by spreading misinformation. At least Pope Francis isn’t falling for it. Give credit where it’s due. He shouldn’t be praised for telling the truth, but someone with that much sway over what Catholics do shouldn’t be ignored either.
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