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On Vaccines Made From Cells of Aborted Fetuses

7/27/2005 - 6:00 AM PST

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"It is a Grave Responsibility to Use Alternative Vaccines"

VATICAN CITY, JULY 27, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is a letter sent by Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, to Mrs. Debra Vinnedge, executive director, Children of God for Life.

The letter presents the following study conducted by the academy entitled "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses."

* * *

Vatican City, June 9, 2005

Mrs. Debra Vinnedge
Executive Director, Children of God for Life
United States

Dear Mrs. Debra Vinnedge,

On June 4, 2003, you wrote to His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with a copy of this letter forwarded to me, asking to the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith a clarification about the liceity of vaccinating children with vaccines prepared using cell lines derived from aborted human fetuses. Your question regarded in particular the right of the parents of these children to oppose such a vaccination when made at school, mandated by law.

As there were no formal guidelines by the magisterium concerning that topic, you said that catholic parents were often challenged by state courts, health officials and school administrators when they filed religious exemptions for their children to this type of vaccination

This Pontifical Academy for Life, carrying out the commission entrusted to us by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, in answer to your request, has proceeded to a careful examination of the question of these "tainted" vaccines, and has produced as a result a study -- in Italian -- that has been realized with the help of a group of experts.

This study has been approved as such by the congregation and we send you, here enclosed, an English translation of a synthesis of this study. This synthesis can be brought to the knowledge of the interested officials and organisms.

A documented paper on the topic will be published in the journal "Medicina e Morale," edited by the Center of Bioethics of the Catholic University in Rome.

The study, its synthesis, and the translation of this material took some time. We apologize for the delay.

With my best regards,

Sincerely yours,

Bishop Elio Sgreccia

* * *
Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Stem Cells Derived From Aborted Human Fetuses

The matter in question regards the lawfulness of production, distribution and use of certain vaccines whose production is connected with acts of procured abortion. It concerns vaccines containing live viruses which have been prepared from human cell lines of fetal origin, using tissues from aborted human fetuses as a source of such cells.

The best known, and perhaps the most important due to its vast distribution and its use on an almost universal level, is the vaccine against Rubella -- German measles.

Rubella and its vaccine

Rubella -- German measles -- [1] is a viral illness caused by a Togavirus of the genus Rubivirus and is characterized by a maculopapular rash. It consists of an infection which is common in infancy and has no clinical manifestations in one case out of two, is self-limiting and usually benign. Nonetheless, the German measles virus is one of the most pathological infective agents for the embryo and fetus.

When a woman catches the infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, the risk of fetal infection is very high -- approximately 95%. The virus replicates itself in the placenta and infects the fetus, causing the constellation of abnormalities denoted by the name of Congenital Rubella Syndrome. For example, the severe epidemic of German measles which affected a huge part of the United States in 1964 thus caused 20,000 cases of congenital rubella [2], resulting in 11,250 abortions -- spontaneous or surgical -- 2,100 neonatal deaths, 11,600 cases of deafness, 3,580 cases of blindness, 1,800 cases of mental retardation. It was this epidemic that pushed for the development and introduction on the market of an effective vaccine against rubella, thus permitting an effective prophylaxis against this infection.

The severity of congenital rubella and the handicaps which it causes justify systematic vaccination against such a sickness. It is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to avoid the infection of a pregnant woman, even if the rubella infection of a person in contact with this woman is diagnosed from the first day of the eruption of the rash. Therefore, one tries to prevent transmission by suppressing the reservoir of infection among children who have not been vaccinated, by means of early immunization of all children -- universal vaccination.

Universal vaccination has resulted in a considerable fall in the incidence of congenital rubella, ...

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1 - 2 of 2 Comments

  1. Magdaleni
    7 months ago

    Catholic English schoolchildren demonstrated for 20 years against the use of fetal materials in biological products. Others are now working to produce ethical vaccines. This is weak response from the a Pontifical Academy. It also exaggerates the benefits of these vaccines and underestimates the risk of the fetal DNA fragments in these vaccines with respect to autoimmune disease. The Pontifical Academy response damages the efforts of those who do not want to use these tainted products, putting quotation remarks around "tainted" shows the excessive influence of secular humanism on the Academy.

  2. Anthony Steele
    3 years ago

    This is scary and very sad. We live in a very corrupt society and a lot of prayers are needed.

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