The New Orleans Roman Catholic Archdiocese called the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine’s ethics into question, saying it uses “morally compromised” abortion-derived cell lines.

LSU Religious Studies Professor Michael Pasquier said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines only used abortion-derived cells in research, while J&J used them in manufacturing.

“The Archdiocese of New Orleans is emphasizing this distinction in recommending to Catholics that if given the opportunity to choose, choose the Pfizer or Moderna,” said Pasquier.

The Vatican has not ruled on the morality of the J&J vaccine and Pasquier said there will be many Catholics who, given the circumstances, will not follow the Archdiocese’s guidance. However, he expected that there will be some Catholics who will take the guidance very seriously and do what they can to take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead.

The Baton Rouge Archdiocese has issued a similar guideline calling Pfizer and Moderna “morally acceptable” but that parishioners may take J&J if no other options are available.

Pasquier said the New Orleans Archdiocese has no way to enforce the guidelines on Catholics who chose to take the J&J vaccine.

“There is no enforcement mechanism when it comes to the Archdiocese position which is why the Archdiocese admits that this is a position that is based on individual conscience,” said Pasquier.

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