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Saturday July 02, 2022

COVID-19 vaccine: Archbishop condemns Oxford vaccine

By News Report
August 25, 2020

SYDNEY: Australia’s most powerful Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher has sparked outrage after suggesting the COVID-19 vaccine could create an “ethical dilemma” for Catholics who may refuse to take it because it uses a cell line from an aborted foetus in the 1970s.

The Catholic leader has outlined his “disappointment” in correspondence with Prime Minister Scott Morrison that has sparked fears it could encourage Catholics to refuse to take the vaccine on religious grounds.

He also complains that if the COVID-19 vaccine is linked to “no jab, no pay” rules that Catholic families could lose access to family payments if they refuse to vaccinate their children.The letter is co-signed by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios.

While noting he was “praying for a vaccine that might bring an end to the pandemic”, Archbishop Fisher warned the Oxford University vaccine that Australia has signed a letter of intent to purchase was not the right choice.

The religious leaders are urging the Prime Minister to choose another vaccine instead. “Some will have no ethical problem with using tissue from electively aborted foetuses for medical purposes,’’ the letter states

“Others may regard the use of a cell-line derived from an abortion performed back in the 1970s as now sufficiently removed from the abortion itself to be excusable. (But) those troubled by this may either acquiesce to the social and political pressure to use the vaccine or conscientiously object to the use by themselves or their dependants.”

Since the 1960s, cell lines from aborted foetuses have been used to manufacture vaccines, including current vaccines against rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A, and shingles to treat haemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.

At least five of the candidate COVID-19 vaccines being trialled on humans use around the world use one of two human foetal cell lines: HEK-293, a kidney cell line widely used in research that comes from a foetus aborted in about 1972; and another cell line known as PER. C6.

“The Commonwealth has chosen to throw its lot in with one that makes use of a cell-line (HEK293) cultured from an electively aborted human foetus,” the Archbishop’s letter states.“It has been reported that if the vaccine is adopted for use in Australia it will be ‘mandatory’ or ‘as mandatory as possible.” “Please be assured that our churches are not opposed to vaccination, as we have said, we are praying one may be found.”

But government sources have privately raised concerns that the Catholic Church has not raised similar concerns over many other vaccines that also use the same cell line.A spokesman for the Prime Minister told news.com.au that he understood the issues being raised. as well.”

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