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Cells taken from aborted fetuses for COVID-19 vaccines cause moral dilemma for some Canadian Catholics

Last Updated Mar 2, 2021 at 7:29 pm EDT

Parishioners pray during Ash Wednesday service at the St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Detroit. The ashes, a symbol of penance, made from palm leaves used in last year's Palm Sunday liturgy were sprinkled on the forehead which is a departure from the usual practice of making the sign of the cross on the forehead. The sprinkling, because of the pandemic, is a departure from the usual practice of making the sign of the cross on the forehead and follows an ancient method still common in parts of the world today. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Many Catholics in Canada are facing a moral dilemma over COVID-19 vaccinations.

Moira McQueen, director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute tells CityNews some of the vaccines being produced were developed by using products of cells that were initially taken from aborted fetuses.

“The AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson ones are both unethical vaccines by Catholic standards,” McQueen says, “if you’re really serious about sort of anti-abortion, pro-life point of view, you don’t want to utilize anything that is, you know, that’s using those kind of cell lines if there’s something else available.”

In December, the Vatican said despite the links to abortions, it is morally acceptable to get a vaccine, but recently the Archdiocese of New Orleans advised its members not to use the Johnson & Johnson shot.

RELATED: Canada to receive nearly 1-million vaccines doses this week despite confusion regarding AstraZeneca shot

The Archdiocese of Toronto says it hasn’t made a decision on the Johnson & Johnson shot, while others are urging governments to allow people to ask for an alternative vaccine if they have a moral objection.

Health officials advise Canadians to take whichever vaccine is available to them.

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