Bishop W. Shawn Mc-Knight of Jefferson City is calling on Catholics to inoculate themselves from the coronavirus, using any vaccine provided by healthcare officials.
“In the current situation of a pandemic, Catholics may in good conscience utilize any of the vaccines currently available, even those derived in an unethical manner, to protect themselves, as well as to avoid the serious risk to vulnerable persons and to society resulting from remaining unvaccinated,” Bishop McKnight declared in a March 4 statement.
“If a person concludes he or she cannot be vaccinated, whether for health reasons or if their own moral analysis is different from the Church, they are morally obliged to do everything they can to prevent transmission of the coronavirus and avoid any risk to the health of those who cannot be vaccinated,” Bishop McKnight added.
“As Pope Francis reminds us, in receiving these vaccines we are truly showing love for our neighbor and for God, which is the core teaching of our faith,” he said.
Bishop McKnight said recent statements from some bishops of the Catholic Church and subsequent news stories on these statements have caused public confusion regarding the moral implications of Catholics using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“I affirm what the Holy See, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Missouri province of Catholic bishops and my own moral analysis have concluded, primarily based on our obligation to serve the common good,” he stated.