The Department of Defense is preparing to mandate that all defense employees, including all soldiers, receive the COVID vaccine in mid-September, a step that Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the archdiocese for the Military Services, supports.
Speaking with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Archbishop Broglio cited the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Pope Francis, who have “recognized the morality of the vaccine.”
The Congregation’s advice “is the best guidance that we, as Catholics, have,” said Broglio.
“Certainly, no vaccine is an absolute, but the military is bound to live, work, and recreate together,” he told the CNA. “It seems prudent to ensure they do not infect each other.”
The archbishop also noted that there are other vaccine mandates “already in force” in the military, and “no one asks for your consent.”
In March, the archbishop said, “In the case of vaccines to protect against the Coronavirus pandemic, the highest doctrinal authority of the Church, speaking on behalf of the Bishop of Rome, has made its clear position on the vaccines available.”
“The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, clearly endorses and encourages the faithful entrusted to her care to follow that guidance,” he said then. “The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are preferred to the others, because of their very remote link to human cells derived from abortion.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “more problematic,” said the archbishop.
In a Dec. 21, 2020 letter, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained the “morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines.”
“It must therefore be considered that, in such a case, 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,” reads the letter.
“At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary,” states the document.
Some Catholic bishops oppose the vaccines and mandatory vaccination.
Bishop Joseph Strickland, head of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, said in August 2020, “I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children. Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts. We will never end abortion if we do not END THIS EVIL!”
In December 2020, Strickland said, “I would encourage people to resist any forcing of receiving these vaccines. … We need to look at all the sides of the issue and make a well-informed conscience decision.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary bishop of Astana in Khazakhstan, has said, “I am convinced that the vaccinations which have been produced by using cell lines from an abortion, from the assassination of an innocent child, or to be tested, this is intrinsically an evil. And a Christian cannot in any way, with no exception can you legitimize the use of this medicine or this vaccine.”
“[T]hose anti-Covid vaccines that are now propagated and admitted, like Astra-Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson, they, the pharmaceutical company itself, admits it, so, they themselves admit [using fetal tissues],” said Bishop Schneider.
“And even Pfizer, Moderna say that they tested, used aborted cells in the testing process,” he added. “So they admit this. So there are no other anti-Covid vaccines that would be free from any connection to a cruelty, to abortion. So they have to have true, 100 percent cruelty-free vaccinations.”