Archbishop Tartaglia – “it is ethical to take any of the C19 vaccines purchased by the UK at the present time.” Artwork by Gemma Woods Fraser
By Bill Heaney
In a National Pastoral Letter to Scotland’s Catholic community, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland have highlighted “reasons for hope, as we live through these difficult times”.
The document, suggests society has begun to rediscover universal human dignity, pointing out that when citizens were asked “to make difficult and prolonged sacrifices for the sake of the most vulnerable and they willingly responded.”
The letter, signed by every bishop including local Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, describes this genuine concern for the vulnerable as “obvious and beautiful”.
The letter goes on to hope, that “the love and compassion we have shown amid so much suffering and death in recent months (might) now become a way of life and that love of neighbour might now “become the vital principle of our culture”.
The document also addresses Medical Care of the Sick and Vulnerable, the economy and vaccines.
The bishops welcome the news of vaccine approvals and “hope this will allow an early immunisation programme to protect our population and offer the prospect of some return to normal life.”
In response to ethical concerns raised about the vaccines, the bishops “reassure our Catholic population that, in accordance with longstanding guidance from the Pontifical Academy for Life, it is ethical to take any of the C19 vaccines purchased by the UK at the present time, either because foetal cell lines have not been used in their development or because their sourcing is sufficiently remote.”
The Pastoral Letter observes, that “Just as the nations of the world have been required to collaborate to respond effectively to the virus, so too in our own society we must work together for a better future as we rebuild after the Pandemic.” The document will be distributed to all of Scotland’s 500 parishes