San Diego Bishop Issues Statement, Says It Is ‘Entirely Morally Legitimate’ For Catholics to Receive All Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

(SAN DIEGO) – Bishop Robert W. McElroy, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, issued the following statement today indicating that the use of any of the leading COVID-19 vaccines would be “entirely morally legitimate” and that receiving a vaccination would be “truly showing love for our neighbor and our God.”

The complete statement follows.

“Because we live in a complicated world, Catholic moral teaching is often highly complex and nuanced in its reasoning about how to navigate the issues of balancing good and evil in confronting ethical choices.

“But on the concrete moral and pastoral question of receiving the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson or Astra-Zeneca vaccines, I want to make clear to the Catholic communities of San Diego and Imperial Counties that in the current pandemic moment, with limited vaccine options available to achieve healing for our nation and our world, it is entirely morally legitimate to receive any of these four vaccines, and to recognize, as Pope Francis has noted, that in receiving them we are truly showing love for our neighbor and our God.”

The Diocese of San Diego runs the length of California’s border with Mexico and serves more than 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial Counties. It includes 98 parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools, Catholic Charities and various social service and family support organizations throughout the region. It also includes five historic sites, the most well-known of which is the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, the first mission established in California by St. Junipero Serra in 1769.