Cardinal Cupich leads COVID vaccine push after Catholic Church controversy

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cardinal Blase Cupich is encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine following a Catholic Church controversy in which some bishops called the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "morally compromised."

From the moment Cardinal Cupich publically received his first shot in December, he made it an Archdiocese of Chicago mission to urge other to get vaccinated.


"We have a moral responsibility to look out for each other's benefit, and it is an act of love to get vaccinated," he said.

But that moral responsibility became confusing last week when some bishops in other U.S. archdioceses urged Catholics to choose the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the one-shot Johnson & Johnson because of its greater use of cell lines cloned from aborted fetal tissue. Both Cardinal Cupich and the Vatican disagree.

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"No one has to choose, all vaccines are morally acceptable," Cardinal Cupich said. "I don't know the reasons they said what they said, we have to speak with clarity."


To clear up any confusion, the Archdiocese of Chicago has developed a public service campaign. Using social media, church websites and print publications, the archdiocese is working with the city, county and state to get the message out about the importance of all three vaccines.

"What we want to do is be helpful to the city in these efforts, and reach out to the communities affected by the pandemic and encourage vaccinations," he said.

Outreach efforts also include hosting church vaccination events in hard-hit neighborhoods. One is planned for this week in Back of the Yards.
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