A Follow-up & Summary to the Video Presentation

Dearly Beloved,

Thanks to everyone who came out Wednesday evening for the presentation on the moral implications of the COVID-19 vaccines, and also thanks to all of you who have watched the video on the website. There was very much information that was disseminated that night and perhaps it was too much information to properly digest in one sitting. The one thing that is clear is that there are moral implications to these vaccines, but how do we actually respond living in the current pandemic situation? If you have not listened to the presentation, please do so, as that will help you make sense of this brief summary. (Click here for the video)

As the “Father” of this parish, the “head of household” if you will, I take very seriously my responsibility for everyone’s well-being, both spiritual and physical. The two current vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) which are available to us both have a very remote connection to the moral evil of voluntary abortion, as the fetal cell lines derived from abortion were only used in some post-production testing. For those who are “at risk” (see the CDC parameters) for devastating outcomes of the COVID-19 virus, I encourage you to make use of the vaccines if you are able.

There are two other vaccines, which are on the horizon for emergency use in our country, those being the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Both of these vaccines used the aforementioned fetal cell lines in the development, production, and testing of their product and, therefore, have a more immediate connection to abortion. Both of these vaccines, since we have alternatives, should be avoided.

One other matter that I did not delve into deeply enough the other night because of time constraints was the matter of conscience. Have you ever heard the phrase “let your conscience be your guide?” That is actually a very accurate way of saying how we as Christian people are to respond morally to whatever situation in which we find ourselves. In fact, Christian moral thought requires us to properly educate and then follow our consciences. Not following our consciences is considered sinful. Our consciences are formed (educated) in many ways, including Scripture study, hearing sermons, going to church, taking classes (like the presentation the other night), and, perhaps most importantly, prayerful reflection on the issue at hand.

Heads of household have always held a particularly important role as the moral agent, or moral decision maker, in their families as they are considered to be those with the most fully formed consciences. When, after prayerful consideration and the guidance of his or her conscience, the head of household makes the decision to have his or her family vaccinated in the current situation, that is a decision cannot be disputed or contradicted. That decision of conscience, in Christian moral thought, is just as lawful as the decision of conscience which another person makes to not have their family vaccinated. This matter of conscience, of course, extends to the individual. Every adult Christian must allow their conscience to guide them to the appropriate decision for themselves.

I pray this brief summary and explanation is helpful to you. Please know this entire topic is meant to be an ongoing discussion. If you have questions about this, have some insights, or just want to talk about it, feel free to give me a call, stop by, or send me an email.

Fr. Erich

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