Various Vaccines

 U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine

WASHINGTON– In March, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States.

            “The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.

            Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.1 However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.

            While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.

1 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines” (17 Dec 2020), no. 2.

JOINT STATEMENT ON VACCINES AND CONSCIENCE PROTECTION

Submitted by Bishop Vasa, March 3, 2021

Philadelphia, PA- March 2, 2021- It has been over a year since the first diagnosis of COVID-19 in the United States. Due to this pandemic’s effects, our society has experienced limitations in personal freedoms to a level we have never known. Social interactions and work environments have been changed by social distancing, masks, hospital and nursing home visitation restrictions and working from home. Freedom of movement about our communities and the nation has been limited by “stay-at-home orders” and mass travel restrictions. The availability of vaccines provides a sliver of hope but also raises many questions. Issues our society must address include prioritizing equitable vaccine distribution and the potential for coercivemandates on vaccine use. 

Government agencies and other organizations are responsible for developing strategies for efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines. 

The highest priority is the vaccination of those at greatest medical risk and those directly involved in the care of the sick. Once this has been accomplished, distribution can be directed toward those at lesser risk of serious disease. Attention should also be given to making vaccines available to smaller independent hospitals and clinics serving in underserved and rural areas where the vaccines to date have been less available.  

Governing authorities must respect an individual’s right to accept or decline a vaccine.

There is no justifiable moral obligation to accept vaccination. If a vaccine has been developed, tested, or produced with technology that an individual deems morally unacceptable, such as the use of abortion-derived fetal cell lines, vaccine refusal is morally acceptable. An individual’s decision to be vaccinated will also depend upon their personal assessment of the medical risks, a choice that should be respected. The decision not to be vaccinated must be accompanied by a commitment to take necessary precautions to lessen disease transmission.

Finally, the protection of First Amendment rights is imperative. 

It is fundamental that the right of individual conscience be preserved. Coerced vaccination would irreparably harm Constitutional rights and the patient-physician relationship. Conscience is an individual belief influenced by many factors such as faith, culture, family, and reason. Each individual makes a conscientious decision in any given situation. Respect for conscience rights is always of primary importance. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged our nation for over a year. It has brought to light new challenges regarding disease management as well as threats to individual liberties. While the logistical challenges alone are significant, we must not ignore the ethical concerns regarding vaccine manufacturing, distribution and administration. While the pandemic remains a significant public health crisis, the individual rights of American citizens also remains of paramount importance. The guarantee of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” includes the right to make individual health care decisions while taking into account our responsibility for the common good.

The organizations supporting this statement:

                  American College of Pediatricians – acpeds.org

                  Catholic Medical Association – cathmed.org

                  Christian Medical and Dental Association – cmda.org

                  National Association of Catholic Nurses, U.S.A. – nacn-usa.org

NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH

Year of Saint Joseph Indulgences

                  With the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis announced a special year dedicated to Saint Joseph. The Year culminating on December 8, 2021 coincides with the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. The Apostolic Penitentiary issued a decree granting a plenary indulgence to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intention) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of Saint Joseph on the occasions and in the manner indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary:

      1. Participate in a spiritual retreat for at least one day that includes a meditation on Saint                         Joseph.

      2. Pray for Saint Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying                      work.

      3. Recite the Litany of Saint Joseph for persecuted Christians.

      4. Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of Saint Joseph the Worker.

      5. Follow Saint Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy.

      6. Follow Saint Joseph’s example in performing a spiritual work of mercy.

      7. Pray the rosary together with one’s family.

      8. Engaged couples can also receive an indulgence from praying the rosary together.

      9. Meditate at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer.

      10. Celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19 with an act of piety in honor of Saint                         Joseph.

      11. Pray an approved prayer to Saint Joseph on the 19th of any month.

      12. Honor Saint Joseph with an act of piety or approved prayer on any Wednesday, the day                      traditionally dedicated to Saint Joseph.

      13. Celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1 with an act of piety or                                  approved prayer.

      The Apostolic Penitentiary permits any prayer to Saint Joseph approved by the Church. However, the Penitentiary mentions, in particular, the prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII:

      To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through your paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

      O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

      As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Saint Joseph Novena Prayer (Recommend for March 10-19)

Each day of the Novena recite the following prayer, add your own intention and then close with one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory be to the Father.

Let us begin, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.    Amen

(Mention your request then say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 1 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 2 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 3 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 4 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 5 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 6 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 7 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 8 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

Day 9 – Recite the Saint Joseph Novena Prayer  (Mention your request)  Say 1: Our Father…1: Hail Mary… 1: Glory Be…

ADDITIONAL PRAYERS:

Saint Joseph Prayer of Protection

“Great St. Joseph,
whose protection is so strong and prompt before
the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests
and desires. Assist me by your most powerful
intercession to obtain all spiritual blessings,
in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And, by gaining here
below your Heavenly favor, I offer my thanksgiving
and homage to God, the most loving of Fathers.

Oh Great St. Joseph, I never weary in thinking of you,
with the Child Jesus asleep in your arms.
Ask for me the favor of His love, when I draw my
dying breath! St. Joseph, the Patron of
departing souls — Pray for me.”

Powerful Prayer to St. Joseph

“Saint Joseph,
father and guardian of virgins,
into whose faithful keeping
were entrusted Innocency itself,
Christ Jesus, and Mary,
the Virgin of virgins,
I pray and beseech Thee
through Jesus and Mary,
those pledges so dear to you,
to keep me from all uncleanness,
and to grant that my mind
may be untainted, my heart
pure and my body chaste;
help me always to serve Jesus
and Mary in perfect chastity.
Amen.”

Bishop Vasa suggests the Novena to St. Joseph

ADDITIONAL PRAYERS:

Saint Joseph Prayer of Protection

“Great St. Joseph,
whose protection is so strong and prompt before
the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests
and desires. Assist me by your most powerful
intercession to obtain all spiritual blessings,
in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And, by gaining here
below your Heavenly favor, I offer my thanksgiving
and homage to God, the most loving of Fathers.

Oh Great St. Joseph, I never weary in thinking of you,
with the Child Jesus asleep in your arms.
Ask for me the favor of His love, when I draw my
dying breath! St. Joseph, the Patron of
departing souls — Pray for me.”

Powerful Prayer to St. Joseph

“Saint Joseph,
father and guardian of virgins,
into whose faithful keeping
were entrusted Innocency itself,
Christ Jesus, and Mary,
the Virgin of virgins,
I pray and beseech Thee
through Jesus and Mary,
those pledges so dear to you,
to keep me from all uncleanness,
and to grant that my mind
may be untainted, my heart
pure and my body chaste;
help me always to serve Jesus
and Mary in perfect chastity.
Amen.”