Poland: no Astrazeneca for good Catholics?

Poland's bishops have voiced "serious moral concerns" about the coronavirus vaccines produced by Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Catholics should refuse vaccination with these substances because foetal cells are used in their production, Józef Wróbel, the chairman of the bioethics team of experts at the Polish Bishops' Conference, said on Wednesday. The national press takes the bishops to task.

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Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

The pope sees things differently

The bishop's position is at odds with that of the pontiff, Tygodnik Powszechny points out:

“If for various reasons 'ethically sound' vaccines are not available, it is 'morally acceptable' to be vaccinated even with those for whose development cell lines from aborted foetuses were used, the Congregation announced. It explained that the reason for its approval was that those who carry out the vaccination had nothing to do with the evil of abortion, and that the moral obligation to avoid abortions therefore did not apply to this case. One might expect a bishop to have an opinion that tallies with the Vatican's statement.”

Polityka (PL) /

Vaccination is an expression of brotherly love

For Polityka the only one acting immorally here is the bishop himself:

“Vaccines that have been produced or tested using cell lines in no way promote abortion. Cell lines are distant descendants of cells originally taken from abortion material. End of story. What is certain is that their use is saving lives today. It is immoral to point out which vaccines are better and which are worse. We should leave that to the European Medicines Agency. By being vaccinated with one of the approved Covid vaccines, we express our concern for others. And it is also an expression of concern for unborn children, as Covid can also be dangerous for pregnant women.”