What does the Catholic Church say about aborted foetuses in vaccines?

Very little, of course, because there are no aborted foetuses in vaccines.

Here’s Meryl Dorey, of the Australian Vaccination Network confirming this fact in her usual way. That is, by asserting the exact opposite:

Vaccines may sometimes contain aborted human foetal tissue – a fact which some people may consider a cause for concern

And here’s the reality:

Two different strains of human diploid cell cultures made from fetuses have been used extensively for vaccine production for decades. One was developed in the United States in 1961 (called WI-38) and the other in the United Kingdom in 1966 (called MRC-5).

WI-38 came from lung cells from a female fetus of 3-months gestation and MRC-5 was developed from lung cells from a 14-week-old male fetus. Both fetuses were intentionally aborted, but neither was aborted for the purpose of obtaining diploid cells.123. The fetal tissues that eventually became WI-38 and the MRC-5 cell cultures were removed from fetuses that were dead. The cellular biologists who made the cell cultures did not induce the abortions.

These two cell strains have been growing under laboratory conditions for more than 35 years. The cells are merely the biological system in which the viruses are grown. These cell strains do not and cannot form a complete organism and do not constitute a potential human being. The cells reproduce themselves, so there is no need to abort additional fetuses to sustain the culture supply. Viruses are collected from the diploid cell cultures and then processed further to produce the vaccine itself.

See the difference? What Meryl Dorey calls ‘aborted human foetal tissue’, are in fact cells grown in a lab, whose distant ancestors were harvested from two foetuses 50 years ago, foetuses which had already died for other reasons. And the cells aren’t even an ingredient of the vaccine, but more akin to part of a biological production line.

Sad Meryl Dorey

Sad Meryl Dorey

The Catholic church is, of course, infamous for its extreme and inhumane view of abortion. But even the Catholic church refuses to ally itself with the hysterical idiocy of anti-vaxxers. In a typically windy digestion of a very easy ethical question, the church is clear. It would understandably prefer to avoid any vaccines historically connected with foetal tissue. However:

Moreover, we find, in such a case, a proportional reason, in order to accept the use of these vaccines in the presence of the danger of favouring the spread of the pathological agent, due to the lack of vaccination of children.


The lawfulness of the use of these vaccines should not be misinterpreted as a declaration of the lawfulness of their production, marketing and use, but is to be understood as being a passive material cooperation and, in its mildest and remotest sense, also active, morally justified as an extrema ratio due to the necessity to provide for the good of one’s children and of the people who come in contact with the children (pregnant women).

Even if there is anyone left on the planet who still thinks the Vatican’s pronouncements overrule child welfare, there is only one clear choice here.


Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network


  1. Posted January 20, 2012 at 11:22 | Permalink

    Best. Photo caption. Ever.

  2. Posted April 29, 2012 at 00:20 | Permalink

    I took this up with Dorey years ago. She is well aware of the Vatican ruling and in her usual honest fashion issued a media release at the time headed “Vatican says, ‘Parents must oppose vaccines from human foetal remains’”.

    The fact that the Vatican said just the opposite should come as no surprise to people familiar with Meryl Dorey’s concept of truth.

  3. Pedro
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 18:22 | Permalink

    Good item however the first 2 links are broken.
    Feel free to delete this once you’ve seen it.

  4. Posted March 1, 2013 at 18:47 | Permalink

    Thanks, Pedro. Fixed.

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