Deciding whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine can be a religious issue for people. Bishop David Konderla of the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma told News On 6 this has been a longstanding conversation among ethicists and theologists.
"Many of the vaccines that are created today use either in their testing phase or in their production phase or sometimes even in both, cell lines derived in labs from aborted fetus decades ago,” Bishop Konderla said.
Bishop Konderla said most cell lines used don't contain any actual cells from the abortions. He said the church's concern is simply the historical connection to abortions.
"For people of conscience who understand abortion to be a great evil, there's a concern about cooperating with that evil,” Bishop Konderla said.
The FDA said, despite claims otherwise, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't have any connection to abortion cell lines.
The University of Oxford's development team said AstraZeneca used Human Embryonic Kidney 293 TREX Cells which come from the kidney of an aborted fetus in the 70s, but said those cells are just clones of the original fetus tissue.
Bishop Konderla said connections aside, getting vaccinated is in no way condoning an abortion, and said he'll probably get the vaccine.
"The good that we're seeking is the elimination of a pandemic and so we have a serious moral duty to seek that common good,” Bishop Konderla said.
Bishop Konderla said, in the meantime, churchgoers should continue to push researchers and pharmaceutical companies to develop more alternative cell lines.
"Perhaps we can all join together in a prayer of thanksgiving that we have a vaccine so quickly,” Bishop Konderla said.