Australia’s Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican Archbishops Oppose Potential Coronavirus Vaccine

Archbishop Makarios. Credit: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Australia’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios, Roman Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher and Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies object to the potential Covid-19 vaccine claiming ethical concerns.

The Australian government has announced a procurement agreement for 25 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine made by UK-based drug company AstraZeneca once it is ready.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the three hierarchs oppose the Oxford University vaccine because it contains foetal tissue.

The Oxford University vaccine has been developed from a kidney cell line (HEK-293) taken from an aborted foetus. The particular practice is common in medical research.

The three Archbishops argue that the use of foetal cells creates “an ethical quandary” and is “deeply immoral.”

“Others may regard the use of a cell-line derived from an abortion performed back in the 1970s as now sufficiently removed from the abortion itself to be excusable. (But) those troubled by this may either acquiesce to the social and political pressure to use the vaccine or conscientiously object to the use by themselves or their dependents,” it is stated in the letter.