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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A panel of high-profile academics is contesting the "growing consensus among Catholic ethicists" that experimental vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissue are not only "morally permissible," but also "morally obligatory for the sake of the common good."
"We resist this 'consensus' being foisted upon us as morally repugnant: We do not wish to benefit from abortion," the scholars categorically declare in their "Statement of Conscience to Awaken Conscience," published Thursday.
Raising the alarm over many Catholic schools making the abortion-stained shots mandatory for attendance, the statement — signed also by Bp. Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas — petitions Catholic ethicists to resist and reconsider the "premature 'consensus'" on the jabs.
The petition addresses moral justifications posited so far by pro-vaccine advocates, including the "nearly ubiquitous use of HEK-293 cells in the scientific and medical industry" and the "casuistical distinctions" of "remote" connections of the aborted baby to the vaccine.
Dr. Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, from the Catholic University of America, told Church Militant she wrote the "statement of conscience" after leading pro-life Catholic ethicists published a declaration on the "moral acceptability" of receiving the abortion-tainted jabs.
Pakaluk said she felt "we were reaching a tipping point on the COVID-vaccine conversation, from seeing abortion-tainted vaccines as evil but possibly licit under extreme conditions to seeing them as unproblematic, a moral responsibility even — a 'welcome advance of science.'"
The expert in Catholic social thought explained she was resisting benefits from both the "crimes of abortion and desecration ... because the remains of the infant from whom the kidney tissue was removed were not treated with the respect owed to a human body, and the researchers obtained no consent to do what they did."
Lamenting the "active industry surrounding the sale of fetal body parts and tissues, to say nothing of the manner in which aborted babies are disposed like trash all around the world," Pakaluk said taking the jab "would be like benefiting from slavery while slaves were still being bought and sold."
"How could one be an abolitionist while profiting from slavery? This is why we are using the hashtag #resistabortionbenefit," she added.
Pakaluk called out fallacious appeals to the authority of so-called science:
It seems to me that we are now, as for a very long time, in a position of accepting whatever "science" offers us. We make no demands on "science." Instead, we flatter the "science" and say these are advances. We say "thank you science," then find ways to justify. Meanwhile "science" moves every year deeper into new atrocities like surrogacy, transgender "treatments" and human cloning. This is not "science" but the eclipse of science. Have we no fear of God?
Other signatories to the "conscience" declaration include ethicist Dr. Michael Pakaluk, bioethics and chemistry expert Dr. Stacy Ann Trasancos and mathematician Dr. Jose Luis Trasancos.
The academics reject the justification that endorses the fetal-cell COVID-19 jab based on the ubiquity of the HEK-293 cells and their use in previously used vaccines.
"Many of us have spent decades trying to resist the abortion-tainted varicella and MMR vaccines, which were produced in the same compromised way, meeting resistance everywhere, being 'fired' by our physicians and opposed even by leaders of our own churches," they write.
If previous vaccines have been derived from fetal-cell lines, then all product manufacturers should "label their use of these cells so that we can go forward avoiding such products," the scholars demand, arguing that acceptance of the use of tissues derived in the past has implications for incentivizing an industry trafficking in aborted fetal parts. The academics also rebut the ethical argument of "remoteness."
According to a 2020 decree from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "The fundamental reason for considering the use of these vaccines morally licit is that the kind of cooperation in evil (passive material cooperation) in the procured abortion from which these cell lines originate is, on the part of those making use of the resulting vaccines, remote."
The academics respond:
Surely remoteness is a judgment in conscience. How "remote" is a cell line connected by continuous life with the murdered child? How "remotely" long ago is the abortion of a child who would be only 50 years old today? It is urged, as if it mattered, that the abortions were not carried out in order to create the cell lines — and yet the tissue of the aborted child (which no lab scientist had authority to use) did not miraculously give rise to cell lines but instead was manipulated deliberately, precisely in order to create the cell lines.
On Monday, a coalition of 86 women doctors, religious and pro-life campaigners from 25 countries released a statement explaining how "general acquiescence to abortion-tainted vaccines, particularly by Christians, has only contributed to the Culture of Death."
The statement challenged pro-abortion-tainted-vaccine decrees issued by the Vatican and some bishops as "based on an incomplete assessment of the science of vaccination and immunology," pleading for a re-evaluation of the pontifical and episcopal edicts.