Last month, OrthoChristian reported on a recent statement from the Orthodox Theological Society in America (OTSA) concerning the various COVID vaccines. The Society argues that while it is true that the Modern and Pfizer vaccines were tested against fetal cells, they “present the best ethical option to promote health and life, despite their connection with the use of aborted fetal cells.”
Opinions vary greatly even amongst Orthodox hierarchs and clergy concerning the ethics of COVID vaccines, and in a new essay, “The Moral Peril of Taking Most COVID-19 Vaccines,” Archpriest Alexander Webster, PhD, critically analyzes the OTSA’s statement.
Fr. Alexander has been a priest for 39 years, and recently served as dean and professor of Moral Theology at Holy Trinity Seminary (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) in Jordanville, New York.
He begins by emphasizing that with its statement, the OTSA
“offers a seeming patina of legitimacy to an ethical argument that is abhorrent to any informed, devout Orthodox Christian.” His own purpose is to “retrieve that gauntlet and offer what I hope is a compelling counterargument.”
Fr. Alexander notes that while the OTSA claims widespread agreement among Church leadership in favor of vaccination, the OTSA, in fact, points only to two Roman Catholic sources and a Zoom conference hosted by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in which Metropolitan Nathanael of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese only timidly addressed the issue at hand.
On the other hand, Fr. Alexander points to four documents from Orthodox hierarchs around the globe: [Continue reading]