Clear ideas on a sensitive and difficult subject…

The Morality of Vaccination:
Are Traditional Catholics permitted to take Shots?

Vaccine injections are a hot topic, especially at the current time. Whether one may receive them, must receive them, or must refuse them, are questions for Catholic moral theology.

The Pastoralia show of the sedevacantist True Restoration media apostolate features Catholic priests who provide sound pastoral advice to faithful Catholics, helping them to form their consciences in accordance with traditional Catholic morality so they can correctly apply the Church’s moral principles to the often complex situations they face in today’s world.

In Episode 18 of Pastoralia (found below), Fr. Stephen McKenna speaks on the subject of vaccinations. Although it is a somewhat complicated topic, Father’s presentation is clear, precise, and easy to follow. His discussion with host Stephen Heiner includes the state of modern vaccines and whether it is morally obligatory to refuse vaccines derived from tissue of children who were killed through the heinous practice of abortion.

The episode was first released on June 26, 2020, but it was restricted to subscribers of True Restoration. We decided to sponsor this episode, thereby making it available to the public, as we believe that it is extremely important that people be informed as to the morality of having themselves or their children vaccinated.

Important disclaimer: Nothing in this post or in the Pastoralia episode is meant to be medical advice. Rather, Father is speaking on the morality of vaccinations so that Catholics can make their own decisions about whether or not to receive particular vaccines, with a conscience that is well-formed and certain. Also, we wish to state very clearly that we are not encouraging anyone either to take or not take any particular vaccine, whether for COVID-19, the flu, or any other disease or condition. There may be serious health risks associated with all vaccines in general and with some vaccines in particular. Our intent is merely to inform the public as to what moral principles govern the decision-making of a Catholic when it comes to getting vaccinated.

The full audio of Episode 18 of Pastoralia is available at True Restoration and can also be listened to in the player below:

As Catholics, we have an obligation to form our consciences in accord with the Church’s moral theology, “in season, out of season” (2 Tim 2:4), rather than go by personal preferences, feelings, or socio-political trends. Because the Church is our guide, we can be assured that we will not be misled. As Pope Pius XI said, “a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord” (Encyclical Casti Connubii, n. 104).

An excellent resource for the Church’s traditional moral doctrine is the 2-volume compendium Moral Theology: A Complete Course Based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Best Modern Authorities by the Dominican Fathers John McHugh and Charles Callan (imprimatur 1958). The full text of both volumes is available for free online at Project Gutenberg. People interested in printed copies may obtain them here:

McHugh and Callan’s discussion of cooperation in sin can be found in nn. 1506-1544. These sections are particularly applicable in regard to vaccines derived in immoral ways, and readers will find the principles enunciated and explained by Fr. McKenna verified there.

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