Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

CNS photo/Johnson & Johnson, Handout via Reuters
Vials of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are seen during the phase 3 ensemble period in this undated photo. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved use of the company's one-shot vaccine Feb. 27.


Archbishop of Atlanta clarifies stance on COVID-19 vaccines

Published March 3, 2021  | En Español

ATLANTA–Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta, has released the following statement about COVID-19 vaccines:  

“I wish to reiterate and affirm my earlier statement in support of COVID-19 vaccines. In keeping with a recent statement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I urge Catholics to get whatever vaccine is available to them.

The Vatican makes clear that “all vaccinations recognized as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops outlines some of the current concerns in a statement released March 2. This statement says, in part, “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 memo goes on to quote from the Vatican statement that “it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”

I have received both doses of a vaccine and have encouraged our priests to get theirs as soon as their age or risk group is able to do so. You should not delay getting your vaccine. Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are preferable. When there is no choice, you may receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Getting vaccinated is about more than just getting back to our churches. It is about protecting our vulnerable neighbors and supporting our communities as we recover from this devastating pandemic. So, please, wear a mask, keep your distance and get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.”